Fears of fraud still hinder e-commerce in Jordan — report
by Mohammad Ghazal | Apr 02, 2012 | 23:37
AMMAN — A recent report showed that online transactions in Jordan account for only about 3 per cent of overall e-commerce in the region, which users and experts attributed to fears of falling victim to fraud or identity theft.
“I use my credit card sometimes to pay for online games, but whenever I do that, I always worry that my bank account will be hacked,” Fadi Osama told The Jordan Times Saturday.
“I use my credit card to shop at malls and to pay for some games like Angry Birds when I play it online, and usually the amount of money is small. I would not use the credit card to pay large amounts of money online, because I think it is risky,” the 30-year-old said.
Samer Fathi, a manager at a garment store in Amman, agreed.
“I have a credit card, but I do not think I will use it to buy things or pay for things online. I have read many stories about people losing large amounts of money after their credit cards were hacked,” he said.
“There is a possibility of being subject to fraud while buying online, so why take the risk?”
In 2011, the total volume of e-commerce activities in Jordan stood at about $150 million, Tony Gougassian, Visa’s general manager for the Levant, told The Jordan Times recently.
The total volume of e-commerce in the Middle East reached about $3.5 billion in 2010 and about $5 billion in 2011, he said at the launch of a report on e-commerce in the Middle East.
“E-commerce in Jordan and the Middle East is on the rise as more people are learning about making transactions online,” he said, noting that the number of Internet users in the region is high.
The volume of e-commerce worldwide is expected to reach $1 trillion in 2013, according to Gougassian, who said this figure grows by 19 per cent annually.
Buying plane tickets online topped the list of e-commerce activities in Jordan, followed by purchasing electronic devices, making hotel reservations, paying for music and entertainment, and buying jewellery, fashion items and books, according to the Visa report on e-commerce.
Concerns about e-fraud, however, discourage most Jordanians from shopping online.
“Society in Jordan and the Middle East is still cash-oriented and people are afraid to use their credit cards to buy online,” he said.
In addition, 23 per cent of companies in Jordan do not use e-commerce out of fear of fraud, according to the Visa report, e-mailed to The Jordan Times