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