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‘Potential remains for increasing use of e-payments in Jordan’

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jan 14,2015 - Last updated at Jan 14,2015

AMMAN — Encouraging the wider adoption of e-payments in the Kingdom requires more efforts to raise awareness among credit and debit cards holders, industry stakeholders said Wednesday.

In Jordan, where the number of credit card holders is small, there is a huge potential for increasing credit card usage, but it requires more awareness by stakeholders, including banks, facilities and merchants, Hassan Mayassi, CEO of Emerging Markets Payments (EMP) Jordan, said at a press conference Wednesday.

Mayassi made the remarks after announcing a partnership with MasterCard, which he said will help increase the usage of credit cards for payments and purchases in Jordan.

Currently, there are some 3.5 million active credit and debit cards in Jordan of which some 500,000 are credit cards only, he said.

Under the new partnership, MasterCard will be accepted at EMP’s 17,000 Point of Sales (POS) covering some 12,000 merchants across the Kingdom, according to Mayassi.

Stressing the potential for increasing credit card usage in the country, MasterCard Market Manager–Levant Basel El Tell said e-commerce in Jordan rose by 38 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013.

He added that MasterCard is working with several banks in the Kingdom to improve e-payment services and allow new ones, including the usage of mobile phones to pay for purchased items instead of cards.

He added that as part of cooperation with several entities, the Central Bank of Jordan is working on a project to allow payment for services and utilities via the Internet.

“In Jordan as it is the case in... many countries in the region, some 60 per cent of the population is below the age of 32 and very active in using technologies, which makes them the targeted segments to increase credit card and e-payment usage,” Tell said.

In addition to raising awareness among credit card holders, merchants should also be acquainted with the benefits and safety of accepting e-payments, he noted.

“Some merchants refuse to accept credit cards and this is an issue that needs to be addressed,” Tell said.

According to Telecommunications Regulatory Commission figures, mobile penetration in the Kingdom reached 147 per cent by the end of the third quarter of 2014.

Internet penetration in the Kingdom also rose to 74 per cent at the end of September last year.

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