Why going digital is a matter of survival for businesses

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Digital platforms are now a must-have for companies, says Amazon exec

The importance of a digital presence for businesses has been amplified this year with the coronavirus pandemic, and online payment providers are responding.

With millions around the globe now accustomed to buying everything online, companies have no choice but to go digital or risk losing revenues, said Omar Soudodi, managing director of Amazon Payment Services.

“If you look at the last five years, we’ve seen a lot of organisations in the region take their first steps towards digital transformation. However, this has been accelerated with everything that happened in 2020 and the pandemic and we did see a lot of organisations fast-tracking their road map towards digital transformation,” said Soudodi.

“A couple of years ago, companies looked into developing digital channels as a nice thing to have. But I think, in this day and age, digital channels are a must-have for most organisations,” he continued.

Amazon on Monday announced the launch of Amazon Payment Services, a payment processing service in the MENA region which provides secure online payment services that are easy-to-use and leverage Amazon scalable and reliable technologies.

Whether it is responding to customer demand, decreasing their cost of operation by reducing dependency on a physical location or expanding their reach, there are several benefits for companies in the region to go online, said Soudodi.

Omar Soudodi, managing director of Amazon Payment Services

Digital transformation also presents challenges to companies which are new to adopting them.

“Building and scaling digital channels is not an easy task so, with Amazon Payment Services, we are trying to make it easy for organisations to go online by educating them, creating the right content, making it easy to integrate with our system and by availing different payment methods in a simple and trusted way,” explained Soudodi.

Soudodi gives the example of Amazon Collect where even if an organisation does not have a website, application or any type of technology, they can still accept online payments by using the Collect service and sending invoices by SMS or emails that customers can use to pay.

Amazon acquired one of the region’s first fin-tech companies Payfort in 2017, as part of the Souq.com deal, and has now rebranded it as Amazon Payment Services. This move leverages Payfort’s deep understanding of businesses’ needs across the region, which it developed over the seven years since its launch.

Amazon Payment Services processes transactions for thousands of businesses across multiple industries, ranging from aviation to travel and tourism, retail, insurance, real estate and government. With such a diverse customer base, it has built strong expertise that supports businesses at every scale, from SMEs looking to establish their online presence to large-scale enterprises requiring a dependable payment service to handle high volumes of transactions safely.

Amazon Payment Services is available in eight countries across the MENA region, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

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