Some of you may be considering starting up a merchant account (an account required to receive online payments for an e-commerce). Paypal might be one of the payment gateways you are considering. Here are the top 3 reasons that Paypal is not a good option for E-commerce in the UAE.
- Paypal does not accept AED as currency.
- Paypal supports 26 currencies such as USD, EURO and Yen. The price you put on your website can be displayed in AED but the credit card will be charged in one of the 26 currencies. You will therefore have to pay your banks conversion rates to change the currency to AED before withdrawing.
- Paypal does not offer direct withdrawal in the GCC.
- Withdrawing your money from a Paypal account becomes a challenge solvable in four different ways neither of which is convenient. Solutions include having a US bank account, monthly wire (most make a minimum of 30k USD a month), Withdrawal to a local card offering Visa Original Credit functionalities (withdraw 500USD at a time and cost 5USD per withdrawal) and if you have a local entity in Jordan to transfer the money through Cairo Amman Bank.
- Every transfer of any kind is chargeable minimum of 5USD and a Max of 100 USD.
Conclusion: Paypal is a great option for many countries but the UAE is certainly not one of them. There exists some combination of scenarios where it makes sense to have a paypal account in the UAE but for the vast majority of people (specially startups) it is not a good option.
Looking for payment gateway options? read our blog on payment gateways in UAE