Abdulaziz Fahad Al-Jouf, founder and CEO of payment processing company PayTabs

Across the Middle East, the pandemic provided a boost to e-commerce across the region, with a year-on-year growth of 54 percent, amounting to $12.1 billion in 2020. (AFP/File)
Across the Middle East, the pandemic provided a boost to e-commerce across the region, with a year-on-year growth of 54 percent, amounting to $12.1 billion in 2020. (AFP/File)
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Updated 28 March 2022

Abdulaziz Fahad Al-Jouf, founder and CEO of payment processing company PayTabs

Abdulaziz Fahad Al-Jouf, founder and CEO of payment processing company PayTabs
  • PayTabs is a key player in the region’s e-commerce sector with global ambitions

RIYADH: Abdulaziz Fahad Al-Jouf is the founder and CEO of PayTabs, a payment processing company founded in Saudi Arabia in January 2014 and now it has offices is the Kingdom, UAE, and Egypt.

He graduated from Riyadh’s Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Islamic business and subsequently obtained a bachelor’s degree in information technology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a master’s degree in e-business from the New York Institute of Technology.

PayTabs was founded in 2013 after Al-Jouf “faced problems finding a suitable payments gateway for one of his business startups ... and figured there would be many others with the same issues.” The company, in its own words, “processes payments securely and efficiently ... catering to small, medium and large enterprises and prides itself on offering simple invoicing services for merchants and professionals.”

PayTabs was, according to Al-Jouf, “taken under the wing” of Saudi Aramco’s entrepreneurship scheme “Wa’ed” and made headlines in August 2017 when it raised $20 million investment from unnamed sources. These funds supported the expansion of PayTabs across the Middle East and into other countries in Asia.

BIO

Abdulaziz Fahad Al-Jouf graduated from Riyadh’s Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Islamic business.

He also obtained a bachelor’s degree in information technology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Al-Jouf did his master’s in e-business from the New York Institute of Technology.

In 2018 PayTabs was recognized by Forbes Middle East as No. 1 among “the top 20 Fintech startups to watch.”




Abdulaziz Fahad Al-Jouf

In the same year, Al-Jouf was featured on the cover of Arabian Business magazine, and PayTabs was named “Fintech Company of the Year” at the Arabian Business Achievement Awards.

Both PayTabs and Al-Jouf are regularly covered by global media outlets, including Bloomberg, Reuters and CNBC.

Across the Middle East, the pandemic provided a boost to e-commerce across the region, with a year-on-year growth of 54 percent, amounting to $12.1 billion in 2020, Sitecore, a corporate global digital platform provider revealed in new research. Electronics and retail accounted for over 42 percent of this.

The research, conducted by YouGov MENA of IT decision-makers, across 12 countries in the GCC, found 90 percent would choose an alternative site if the experience was poor and another 89 percent revealed that their customers had less patience with slow or poorly performing sites.

The unprecedented growth in both e-commerce and digital payments are also reflective of a developing regulatory regime, with many countries including Saudi Arabia showing keenness in adapting to trends in banking and finance.


US stocks — Wall Street sheds opening gains on losses in high-growth stocks

US stocks — Wall Street sheds opening gains on losses in high-growth stocks
Updated 18 sec ago

US stocks — Wall Street sheds opening gains on losses in high-growth stocks

US stocks — Wall Street sheds opening gains on losses in high-growth stocks
  • S&P 500 energy stocks among few gainers
  • Robinhood rises on Goldman Sachs upgrade
  • Indexes down: Dow 0.24 percent, S&P 0.36 percent, Nasdaq 0.68 percent

REUTERS: Wall Street’s main indexes fell after opening higher on Monday, as a rally last week on easing concerns over inflation lost steam, with high-growth stocks leading declines.

“We had a nice rally last week, so I think we’re seeing a little bit of profit taking this morning,” said Dennis Dick, a proprietary trader at Bright Trading LLC in Las Vegas.

“The stocks that were up the most last week are the ones getting hit the hardest here today.”

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index, which gained 7.5 percent last week, fell 0.7 percent to lead declines among the three major indexes.

Investors were betting on the retreat in oil prices from the three-month highs hit in June to potentially ease inflationary pressures and likely push the Federal Reserve to moderate its aggressive policy tightening.

However, data on Monday showed new orders for US-made capital goods and shipments increased solidly in May, pointing to sustained strength in business spending on equipment in the second quarter.

Oil prices also moved back into positive territory, pushing up the S&P 500 energy index by 2.2 percent, reining in expectations for inflation falling on the back of lower energy prices.

The US central bank has rapidly raised interest rates to tame 40-year-high inflation, stoking fears its actions could tip the world’s largest economy into a recession.

After the benchmark S&P 500 index earlier this month recorded a 20 percent drop from its January closing peak to confirm a bear market, investors have been trying to gauge when the market might hit its bottom.

At 10:11 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 76.62 points, or 0.24 percent, at 31,424.06, the S&P 500 was down 13.94 points, or 0.36 percent, at 3,897.80 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 78.44 points, or 0.68 percent, at 11,529.19.

Shares of Robinhood Markets rose 0.6 percent after media reports said Goldman Sachs upgraded the retail broker’s stock to “neutral” from “sell.”

Goldman Sachs, however, cut rating on Coinbase Global Inc. to “sell” from “buy,” according to media reports, sending shares of the cryptocurrency exchange lower by 9.4 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.03-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.31-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and 29 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 16 new highs and 41 new lows.


OPEC+ trims 2022 market surplus projection to 1m bpd -report

OPEC+ trims 2022 market surplus projection to 1m bpd -report
Updated 11 min 4 sec ago

OPEC+ trims 2022 market surplus projection to 1m bpd -report

OPEC+ trims 2022 market surplus projection to 1m bpd -report

LONDON: The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, trimmed its projected 2022 oil market surplus to 1 million barrels per day, down from 1.4 million bpd previously, a report seen by Reuters showed.

The report was prepared ahead of a meeting of the OPEC+ Joint Technical Committee scheduled to take place on Tuesday. 


Saudi IT firm solutions secure $267m for acquisition of Egypt’s Giza Systems

Saudi IT firm solutions secure $267m for acquisition of Egypt’s Giza Systems
Updated 22 min 38 sec ago

Saudi IT firm solutions secure $267m for acquisition of Egypt’s Giza Systems

Saudi IT firm solutions secure $267m for acquisition of Egypt’s Giza Systems

RIYADH: IT firm solutions by stc, a unit of Saudi Telecom Co., has obtained Shariah-compliant banking facilities worth SR1 billion ($267 million).

Formally known as Arabian Internet and Telecommunication Services Co., the firm signed the financing deals with Saudi National Bank, according to a bourse filing.

Proceeds from the facilities, with a duration of one and five years, will partly be used to fund the recent acquisition of Egypt’s Giza Systems.

solutions by stc had earlier acquired 89.5 percent of Giza Systems, in addition to 34 percent of Giza Arabia, a subsidiary of Giza Systems, in a $158 million deal.


Saudi contracting firm number reaches 165K as projects value crossed $5.3tln  

Saudi contracting firm number reaches 165K as projects value crossed $5.3tln  
Updated 23 min 57 sec ago

Saudi contracting firm number reaches 165K as projects value crossed $5.3tln  

Saudi contracting firm number reaches 165K as projects value crossed $5.3tln  

RIYADH: The number of companies operating in Saudi Arabia’s contracting sector has crossed 165,000, with small to large enterprises employing 3 million workers, Saudi Press Agency reported citing the Saudi Contractors Authority.  

The contracting sector employs workers from various professions, with more jobs being localized under legislative efforts, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Contractors Authority, Zakariya Al-Abdulqader said.

The value of projects in the contracting sector over the past five years totaled SR20 trillion ($5.3 trillion), demonstrating its importance and its developmental role, the head of the National Committee for Contractors in the Federation of Saudi Chambers, Hamad Al-Hammad said.


NEOM’s energy plant first to produce green hydrogen in commercial quantities, says expert

NEOM’s energy plant first to produce green hydrogen in commercial quantities, says expert
Updated 34 min 24 sec ago

NEOM’s energy plant first to produce green hydrogen in commercial quantities, says expert

NEOM’s energy plant first to produce green hydrogen in commercial quantities, says expert

RIYADH: The hydrogen plant in NEOM, Saudi Arabia's $500-billion futuristic city, will be the first of its kind to produce green hydrogen at a level that can be sold, according to Alicia Eastman, co-founder and managing director at Intercontinental Energy. 

“I think NEOM is going to be the first plant to produce green hydrogen in commercial quantities,” said Eastman while speaking at a virtual conference during the MENA Energy Week.

Eastman added that Intercontinental Energy is working together with countries in the Middle East to assist them in providing green hydrogen, and to deliver green ammonia. 

“Our focus is on large projects. We have signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco to make both blue and green hydrogen. I look forward to seeing Aramco materializing their plans in hydrogen,” she further added. 

Eastment also made it clear that digital solutions and the adoption of technology are very much needed to go sustainable in the future.