Groosh@t PayPal for the Arab world.

17 Jul, 2008

Goosh@t Logo

E-commerce has not taken off in the Arab world mainly for two major factors: There is no merchant service that allows Arab-based e-commerce merchants to accept and process payments, and shoppers in the region are hesitant to trust any and reveal their financial information to any online shop, especially if it is not well known.

In the US this problems has been solved many years before with PayPal (owned By eBay) and most recently Google Checkout .

Paypal services are available in around 15 countries that allow its members to send receive, or withdraw money online to a local or U.S. bank account or a card.

In most Arab countries PayPal allows users to send money only, but UAE is the only Arab Country that PayPal offers send, receive, or withdraw money online to a U.S. bank account or a card.
Google Checkout on the other hand is only available to U.S. and U.K. merchants. For payments Checkout supports many countries, for example in the Arab world: Jordan, UAE, Saudi, Morocco, are supported. Yemen, Egypt and Sudan are not ( I did not check the whole list to see which other Arab countries that are not supported).

When sending money PayPal and Checkout solve the trust and security issues, by not sharing your financial information with the merchants. Another benefits of both: They help you track your online spending, and you do not have to enter your billing information each and every time you shop online.
It’s free to sign up for a PayPal account and Google Checkout to send payments. But unlike Google Checkout, with PayPal you can send money to friends and family if you are from the qualified country (Both offer more services to know more checkout their websites.) But for merchant accounts both PayPal and Google Checkout charge a transactional fee.

There are currently two solutions available for Arab based e-commerce merchants to process payments:

1- Register the company in USA or any other country that PayPal and Checkout merchants’ services are available, setup a bank account in that county, open a PayPal or Checkout Merchant account and go with the integration process.

2- Use a third-party payment processing solution that handle the online transaction and charge fees for payment processing. But that is not fully integrated with the e-commerce web site. Examples: 2Checkout and ShareIt.

Groosh@t a stealth Jordanian startup, would be the third and best option for merchants and buyers a like in the Arab world.

Groosh@t would be the real online payment solution that will fill the online payment and payment processing gap in the Arab world and make it easier and more secure for all parties.

Groosh plural of (Grsh) the Arabic pennies, will enable anyone to use it to pay and to get paid.

Some of the ways to use Groosh@t:
• Pay for online purchases.
• Accept credit cards.
• Send and request money worldwide.
• Track your online spending.

When Groosh@t is fully launched, the service will allow anyone to pay in any way they prefer, including through credit cards, bank accounts, buyer credit or account balances, without sharing financial information just like PayPal and Checkout.

According to Groosh@t it will make online payments possible across different locations, currencies, and languages. I suspect they will have currency conversion service similar what is found on PayPal and Checkout, but I think Groosh@t will have Arab and other major international currencies.

To pay for online shopping you can use Visa, MasterCard and American Express with Groosh@t. Thus solving the other e-commerce problem in the region: Trust and security, because when you make a Groosh@t payment with your debit or credit card, your card details are not revealed.
According to Groosh@t:

Also, you’ll get Groosh@t’s exclusive fraud prevention and security tools.

We will wait and see how these tools will work.

While PayPal and Checkout are Free to signup and send payments, the cost of paying through Groosh@t is 5% Transactional fees.

As member of the Groosh@t Network you start the cycle by filling up your online pockets with Groosh@t by buying 1 or many of the Groosh@t Packages (5,10,20,50 Groosh@t which will be available through online purchase)

5 Grsh@ :
Costs 5.27 USD , online purchasing power of 5.00 USD.

10 Grsh@:
Costs 10.53 USD, online purchasing power of 10.00 USD.

20 Grsh@ :
Costs 21.06 USD, online purchasing power of 20.00 USD.

50 Grsh@ :
Costs 52.64 USD, online purchasing power of 50.00 USD.

Once you’re online pockets are filled with Groosh@t you can start shopping around the Groosh@t supported merchants.

I do not have information if Groosh@t will charge merchants to accept payments, but that model should be used, and for sending payments it should be free, other services i recommend offering for buyers to add the shipping info to the Groosh@t buyers account, so they do not need to fill them up every time a purchase is made, and the ability to track delivery progress from GrooSh@t.

Over all I will wait and see how Groosh@t service will look like exactly when it is full launched. But I can say their Services are really needed in the region and would be an enabler for e-commerce in the Arab world.

Now Groosh@t has a competitive advantage over PayPal and Google Checkout in the Arab world, in terms of localizing the online payment service. But when they enter the Arab market that advantage will diminish. Though Groosh@t can keep being competitive in this case if it achieves a critical mass of sellers and buyers in the region before the they enter the market. while keeping their charging fees close to PayPal and Checkout.

As of Today Groosh@t has been qualified for the Second Face of (QRNEC ) Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Competition ( Which I reviewed before here), and since it is an online business it will be automatically qualified for Google Online Business Plan Competition part of QRNEC. But will Groosh@t be treated justly by the Google Competition, since it competes with Google Checkout? We’ll wait and see.

Groosh@t is a service from @Your Service Group a Jordanian Based company.

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  1. Riyadh  |  July 18th, 2008 at 10:18 AM #

    Sweet!!! Just what we were looking for… 🙂

    R.

  2. Murshed  |  July 20th, 2008 at 1:47 AM #

    great idea .. we need it badly. i hope them all the best .. focus on credibility and being very formal and trustworthy .. this will help a lot when Google and Paypal enter the market one day.

    my only comment is on the logo … it looks very Chinese .. i really thought at the beginning that it was a Chinese company… nothing wrong .. but it was an impression.

  3. Heidi @ Carolina Dreamz  |  August 1st, 2008 at 1:00 AM #

    Oh, I’m so pleased to see this post. I’ve had so much trouble helping my international clients, in the past.

    I look forward to checking this out, when it goes live.

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