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