Amazon’s PayFort Looks To Boost Middle East Startups And SMBs

Middle East startup business

Amazon-owned PayFort aims to support startups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the Middle East with its #StartUpStayUp initiative.

The FinTech company has invited more than 100 of its startup and SMB “merchant partners” to benefit from the initiative, whose goal is to increase traffic to their online sites and boost their revenues.

“We’re delighted to partner with PayFort” on the initiative, said Khalid Almuammar of the Saudi banking firm SABB, formerly the Saudi British Bank. “We aim to help new businesses get off to a good start and to contribute to a more diverse and sustainable economy,” he said, adding that Saudi startups “are facing unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic. The impacts have resulted in widespread layoffs.”

The campaign has started in the United Arab Emirates and will also target Egypt and Saudi Arabia, PayFort said. The company “will fund a three-month digital marketing campaign worth one million dirhams [about $272,000] across multiple media channels, including organic, paid and influencer social campaigns, video-content production, email marketing campaigns, and internal marketing promotions.”

PayFort will waive the maintenance fees for all startups and SMBs. The Amazon company added that the #StartUpStayUp initiative would also benefit its merchant partners through an increased presence on PayFort’s digital channels.

The initiative targets startups from more than 10 categories including, grocery, food and beverage, home services, fashion, beauty, entertainment, health and fitness, automotive and eLearning.

“PayFort has always strived to be helpful and provide immediate value to small businesses by supporting their payment processes online,” said Omar Soudodi, the company’s managing director. “The PayFort team understands that this is a critical time for many startups and SMBs. With #StartUpStayUp, we aim to help as many businesses as we can to accept payments online quickly and improve cash flow.”

PayFort said a number of banks have signed onto the initiative in addition to SABB and will “promote the campaign to their customers through targeted announcements.” Those banks include Emirates NBD Bank in the UAE and Commercial International Bank in Egypt.



The PYMNTS Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index analyzes the key friction points experienced by consumers browsing, shopping and paying for purchases on international eCommerce sites. PYMNTS examined the checkout processes of 266 B2B and B2C eCommerce sites across 12 industries and operating from locations across Europe and the United States to provide a comprehensive overview of their checkout offerings.