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Adyen expands to Middle East, opens Dubai office

Written by MENAbytes Published on 

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Markets in the Middle East are moving towards cashless payments, with online shopping surging and diversity in payment methods.

Adyen, the Amsterdam-headquartered global payments company that allows businesses to accept online and point-of-sale payments, is expanding to the Middle East, it told MENAbytes. It has opened an office in Dubai to run Middle East operations and will start by supporting local payment methods in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and Egypt.

Pieter van der Does, the co-founder and CEO of Adyen, told MENAbytes about their decision to expand to the Middle East. He said that Adyen maintains discussions with its merchants to learn about the next regions and markets it may head to, and use that input to make decisions about expansion plans.

“We would’ve liked to be in the Middle East a couple of years ago, but we also wanted to have proper resources and to be able to execute things in the right way,” said van der Does in a convesation with MENAbytes, adding that they’ve been building operations in different markets during the last few years. “You cannot do everything at the same time. The region is growing really quickly, so it is interesting and important for us to be there now, and now we also have enough resources to execute in a strong way.”

The US-based payments company Stripe is also in the process of expanding into the Middle East and is currently testing its private beta with select businesses, but it is focused on smaller enterprises and startups. Adyen normally goes after large clients.

Van der Does told MENAbytes that Adyen’s expansion to the Middle East has nothing to do with its competitors. He said that the markets in the Middle East, just like in other parts of the world, are moving towards cashless payments, with online shopping surging and diversity in payment methods. “Given how fast the region is economically growing, especially with the growth of e-commerce, it means that it is interesting [for us]. The market is growing [for all the players] and we will have our special group of merchants that we are particularly attractive to.”

Founded in Europe in 2006, Adyen now offers payment solutions across different markets in North America, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, Africa, and now the Middle East. The company became a unicorn in 2014 and went public four years after that at a valuation of USD 8 billion. It has since grown its market cap to close to USD 60 billion, which makes it one of the biggest payment companies in the world. It processed EUR 240 billion (USD 284 billion) in payments in 2019. Its customers include Facebook, Uber, Spotify, L’Oréal, eBay, and thousands of leading brands and companies around the world.

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Middle East Operations

Adyen’s operations in the Middle East will be led by Sander Maertens, an executive who has been with the company for over ten years.

In a statement commenting on the launch, Maertens said, “We’re very excited to open our Dubai office, so we can offer our merchants the same service levels that they are used to—wherever they are. The move towards online commerce continues to rapidly increase in the Middle East—and we are here to offer the platform that accelerates growth. The more support we can provide in the region, the broader our global offering and opportunities for merchants becomes.”

The company is launching both online and in-store payment solutions in the Middle East, and will be supporting local payment methods, including Fawry, Meeza, Mada, Knet, Naps, Benefit, and OmanNet.

“Adyen is offering its single platform, built and managed in-house, which comes with our anti-fraud solution for all credit cards. All data is in one place, so merchants can enhance shopping experiences, improve brand loyalty, and easily increase conversions,” said Maertens in a conversation with MENAbytes.

The company has already secured a number of international and local merchants, but hasn’t shared their names yet. “Initially, the main influx of clients will be ones that work with Adyen in other parts of the world, which will make it a natural extension of the existing partnership. In parallel, we will be looking at working with local merchants in various segments,” Maertens said.

Adyen did not share details about their acquirer in the region.

This article was first published by MENAbytes.

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