Online shopping platform Noon.com is waiving the set-up fees for UAE businesses to accept digital payments, as it seeks to grow its share in an increasingly cashless market.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of consumers have shifted their shopping to e-commerce sites, with online retail spending growing by an additional $900 billion in 2020, according to Mastercard. UAE consumers are also now buying 21 percent more from online stores, higher than in markets like the US and Canada.
In a statement on Thursday, Noon said the waiver of fees for its digital solution called “Noon payments” will provide “extra support” to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in taking their businesses online during the holy month.
Merchants who avail themselves of the digital solution will be able to save 1,000 dirhams ($272) in fees and start accepting customer payments made through Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Mada, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Paypal and KNET, among others.
Prior to the pandemic, cash-on-delivery (COD) was still a favoured form of payment for many customers in the Middle East and North Africa region.
“At the onset of COVID-19, consumer needs changed, leaving many concerned with hygiene aspects of handling physical cash. As a result, COD customers swiftly pivoted to digital payments, now the favoured form of payment in the region,” the statement said.
The waiver is applicable to businesses in the UAE and Saudi Arabia who need a payment gateway.
Founded by Dubai businessman Mohamed Alabbar, Noon.com is also backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.
(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)
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