PAYFORT, the leading online payment service provider in the Arab world, announced yesterday the launch of its pay@store service in Egypt. The new service will help to bring the benefits of online shopping to millions of unbanked Egyptians, all while boosting Egypt’s e-commerce industry by allowing merchants to cater to the large segment of the market that is still dominated by cash transactions. While the average global banked rate is 50%, the rate in Egypt is only 9%, half of the Arab world’s average of 18%. Though very low in credit and debit card penetration, Egypt remains a vibrant market for e-commerce with a 40% internet penetration rate, totaling approximately 38 million internet users, 7% of which shop and pay online. “The launch of pay@store comes as part of PAYFORT's strategy to provide innovative payment solutions that cater to Egypt’s needs and are tailored to Arab online buying habits and trends,” said Omar Soudodi, Managing Director of PAYFORT. “With pay@store, unbanked users who don’t have credit or debit cards will be able to take advantage of the benefits associated with online shopping — not least of all comfort and competitive prices — as they can now access the variety of products and services available in Egypt through leading merchants and service providers registered with PAYFORT Network.” pay@store provides domestic and international merchants with a unique payment method for online purchases. Secure, yet simple, the service works as follows: The buyer selects pay@store as payment method for the purchase and receives a payment voucher containing relevant information about the purchase including price, merchant name, and expiry date. The buyer can then complete the payment in person with cash at any one of the 50,000 points of sale (PoS) in the Fawry network. Buyers can also access the pay@store service at more than 1,400 post office branches; at National Bank of Egypt, HSBC, Blom Bank, Banque Misr, Bank Audi, and Arab African International Bank ATMs (credit/debit card payments only); and via their National Bank of Egypt e-wallet, which can be set up at any NBE branch. pay@store will store the information on the payment voucher, which will be used to verify its validity when the payment is being executed. Once payment is made, the order will then be shipped to customer’s home, or in the case of virtual products and services such as air ticket and software purchases, the customer will receive confirmation. PAYFORT is looking to help facilitate electronic payments while driving e-commerce adoption among private sector organizers and SMEs. With close to 40 Million Internet users and with 65% of the population under the age of 30, online payments in Egypt are expected to grow exponentially in the years to come. Mobile internet adoption is also becoming increasingly accessible and popular in Egypt, contributing to a surge of startups in the past few years as more businesses try to capture online customers. “PAYFORT enables businesses to fast track their online payment needs to better serve their customers while mitigating risk and reducing potential for online fraud,” added Soudodi.