Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, commonly referred to as EMEA, have a collective population between 2.1 and 2.2 billion people. With an annual gross domestic product (GDP) of $27.5 trillion, EMEA’s contributes to 38 percent of the global GDP.
Not surprisingly, companies expanding into EMEA will require different strategies and structures to achieve the most seamless, efficient business operations. One of the first priorities should be ensuring that they have the right payment infrastructure in place. In this fourth installment of our cross-border payment services series, we examine the top 10 providers for this region.
London-based Earthport is the largest open network for global bank payments and provides payment in over 60 countries. Through the Earthport Distributed Ledger Gateway, funds are moved using the Ripple protocol to record the transaction and leverage its prefunded accounts to provide instant liquidity and the best foreign exchange rate. As a result, the beneficiary receives the funds in almost real-time.
Founded by a team of payment professionals in 2006, Adyen, based in the Netherlands, provides advanced payment solutions to more than 4,500 customers that include Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb, and Netflix. Adyen has the widest point-of-sale payment (POS) acceptance network in Europe and also provides extensive coverage for eCommerce payments throughout Europe as well as basic coverage for Africa and the Middle East.
3G Direct Pay
3G Direct Pay, with offices in Kenya and Tanzania, focuses on providing online and mobile payments in six East African countries. In operation since 2006, 3G Direct Pay is largely geared toward serving the tourism industry in the region, targeting companies such as travel agent, hotels, and airlines as customers.
UK firm Worldpay is the country’s leading payment service provider, processing about 42 percent of all transactions in the country. Their customer base includes roughly 400,000 merchants using 126 currencies across 146 countries. Worldpay serves small to medium-sized as well as larger businesses, with eCommerce expertise in industries such as airlines, digital content, online gaming, retail, and travel.
Established in 2010, HyperPay has become the fastest-growing online payment service provider for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The company offers a single API for easy integration with all popular platforms like WordPress and Magento. By partnering with over 100 international payment partners, HyperPay is able to process all major currencies that merchants require.
Headquartered in Paris, French-based Ingenico operates in every region of the world, including EMEA. Its extensive portfolio of 150 different international and local payment methods for online and mobile payments makes it simple for eCommerce merchants to accept payment, including alternative methods like digital wallets and QR codes.
MyGate serves merchants throughout Africa from its head office in Cape Town, South Africa. In addition to providing services for online, mobile, and alternative payments, MyGate also offers tokenization to help businesses minimize their risk and liability by avoiding storage of sensitive payment information. The company also offers a collection service to help businesses to collect overdue payment from customers.
Based in Amman, Jordan, MEPS, or Middle East Payment Services, is currently focused on serving markets in Jordan, Iraq, and Palestine with plans to expand to North Africa. MEPS is financially backed by several Jordanian and Kuwaiti banks and provides pre-paid cards in addition to payment processing services for MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB.
Network International, with its corporate office in Dubai, has a presence throughout the Middle East and Africa in countries such as Bahrain, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Botswana, and Ghana. The key industries that they serve include travel and hospitality, large retail, other retail, and government with expertise in POS, eCommerce, and processing as well as value-added services.
Operating in six Middle-Eastern countries, PayFort helps online merchants sell globally to over 80 countries. Acknowledging that 80 percent of eCommerce transactions in the region are paid by cash-on-delivery, PayFort offers services to help businesses accept cash payment for online purchases. The company makes it easy for entrepreneurs to get off the ground quickly with over 50 supported shopping cart integration options and a startup program with low pricing and other benefits.
Online retail sales are expected to see tremendous growth over the next few years. This is largely due to a continual rise in cross-border commerce, which is predicted to grow from $230 billion in 2014 to $1 trillion by 2020, an overall increase of 335 percent. Over the same period, eCommerce in the Middle East will nearly double from $7 million to $13.4 million, and African eCommerce will make up 10 percent of all of the continent’s retail sales, or $75 billion by 2025. Also, by 2020, 53 percent of all European retail sales will be influenced by eCommerce, either by direct online sales or indirectly through consumer research on online merchant sites.
EMEA, although having very broad range of different cultures, preferences, economic markets, presents great potential for new opportunities for businesses interested in broadening their international horizons. As the overall proportion of people in the global middle class continues to grow, companies that expand to the Middle East and Africa in particular could see strong returns on their investment.
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