Why Don’t Tunisians Pay Online?

E-commerce never really took off in Tunisia, and a lot of people I know think that it’ll be a while before it even starts to work. There aren’t that many Tunisian websites that offer possibilities to pay online, and on the other hand not that many Tunisians are willing to use these possibilities if they exist.

I think it is important to try and understand why Tunisians aren’t ready or willing to pay online in order for businesses to search and find solutions to making the internet into another effective sales and services channel.

Some of the factors that could be behind the Tunisian’s unacceptance to use online payment are:
- Fears regarding the security of online payment platforms
- Not being used to paying online, neither locally nor internationally
- Lack of incentives to pay online, in term of access to cheaper prices or wider choice of products
- Lack and complexity of payment options
- Unawareness of the online payment options that exist in the Tunisian market today

I personally think it’s a combination of all of the above.


There are two official solutions for online payments in Tunisia:

e-Dinar: This is a solution that was built by the Tunisian Post, which accepts payment by credit card or e-dinar cards. The idea of the e-dinar cards is somehow reminiscent of the paypal model, in which people charge their accounts either by transfering money from their bank account to their e-dinar account or by buying a prepaid card.
According to the numbers published by the Tunisian post for the year 2005:
The number of people using e-dinar cards was: 54,329
The number of e-commerce sites accepting e-dinar payments was: 200
The number of e-dinar transactions was 148,166 of which 75,000 came from outside Tunisia.

SPS (Clictopay): This solution was built by Mon

  • http://karim2k.com/ Karim2k

    Nice thought MMM, but you’ve forgotten something really strange how much people did you met who really ask to buy online else those to have to do so as for buying an exclusive online service ? such as important matches tickets of scholar fees ? in the other I think that the government should let go the investors to open wide the E-comerce even if I doubt that the Euro or the US dollar can really harm our fragile economy. and finally It’s coming with the GAT, so don’t wonder how long it takes as long as it’s coming by :)

  • zaratustra

    well … you omitted to mention an important issue. if poeple who buy online don’t necessarily buy from websites in their own countries … and an important part of transactions takes place on foreign websites .. do tunisians have that possibility ? not many of them … because to buy fron outside the country, takes you payment methods agreed on internationnaly .. like paypal or credit cards … and as far as i know credit cards are not that easy to get in tunisia and paypal even though it’s available some months ago … it still limited in terms of available options

    and i guess the growth of e-commerce in tunisia is closely tied with the infrastructure offered to consumers (pityfull dsl speed and quality) and an affordable prices … wich is most ironical …

  • http://amenibo.myaiesec.net Ameni

    Hi..
    I really enjoyed reading the post…
    well, i’m a member of an International Organisation : AIESEC. And we recently have a Conference in Acropole Hotel in Tunis in collaboration with La Poste about E-payment, to encourage companies to use it.
    You can find much information in our website : http://www.aiesecbardo.org

  • http://hatemben.com Hatem

    At the time that international payment is not accessible in Tunisia, I think there is no need to talk about e-Payment. There is more work to do on banking offline before going online.

  • http://www.e-dinar.poste.tn/new/ nadine
  • Nizar25

    i know im late for this topic but, till now we still suffer from lagging, tunisian currency is closed, it’s the policy of receiving only and i have no idea till when, e-dinar is just a joke the only payment you can do is registration in universities and a shopping supermarket name “magazin General” and uhh sometimes stadium tickets to watch football…