Payments in the Middle East SUCK and har-dar-damn it's about time things changed. My cofounder, Yazin, and I were tired of hearing stories like "all my money is stuck in paypal" or "I don't want to spend $50,000 on a security deposit before accepting payments". We meet entrepreneurs every day who hold off dealing with payments because it's just such a strain on their emotions (think about waiting at the SAAQ/DMV everyday for about a month) so they opt in to solutions like Cash on Delivery (yeah that still exists here..) or PayPal (knowing they don't support any local currency and don't payout to any bank in the region).
I believe in entrepreneurs in the region and here's why: they're darn creative. Every entrepreneur has their own clever way of accepting payments. I've seen so many creative solutions like partnering with friends/relatives who live in the US to integrate Stripe, or creating a whole new company in the UK to avoid dealing with these problems.
It's a huge problem in the UAE, in Bahrain, in Lebanon, in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and all over the region, but things are changing. We're building White Payments and it's our solution to this problem. It's super simple -- we only charge on transactions and we're Middle East native.
We're on a mission here (rocket thrusters are warming up) and it's been a blast (sorry, pun). Lots of adversity faced and interesting conversations with incumbents and banks but we're super close to launching in the UAE and in Bahrain. I felt the need to share because you may know some of these entrepreneurs. They may be your brothers, or sister, or cousins, or ya habibi your cousin's-best friend's-daughter in law.
It's time entrepreneurs take over and here's how we're helping.