Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Vodafone Cash in Egypt

An ailing problem with ecommerce in Egypt is that credit cards are used by a tiny fraction of the population only. Even such small fraction mostly fear to use their credit card online. The bottom line is that it is usually not realistic to sell your stuff online in Egypt and expect to collect the money online via credit card. The alternative that seems to have worked till now in Egypt is cash on delivery of which Otlob has been the leader in.

Finally there is hope. Vodafine Egypt is introducing a new service in Egypt called Vodafone Cash. The service is basically a method for money transfer by which subscribers can transfer money, currently with an upper limit of 1000 LE, to one another. A subscriber can deposit money in his or her Vodafone Cash account and withdraw money from it via any 123 ATM machine. Depositing or withdrawing from one's account costs 2% of the amount.

With some money transfer services inside Cairo costing up to 7%, Vodafone Cash turns out to be an interesting and perhaps more convenient alternative. I believe such a move would dramatically nourish the budding ecommerce marketplace in Egypt.

UPDATE: Check out the Vodafone Cash FAQ at the bottom of the page.