[UPDATE] 2013 is now over and PayPal is still not available in Lebanon. I contacted the company to get more info about that. You can check their reply at the end of this post. I precise again that in March 2013, PayPal said it will soon available in Lebanon and most probably by the end of the year. It was never stated that this was a certainty.
Elias Ghanem, MENA general manager of PayPal, announced at the ArabNet 2013 Conference in Beirut that the famous online payment service will soon be available in Lebanon. And this is most probably happening this year.
I had the chance to discuss with Mr. Ghanem (in company of Blog Baladi and Gino’s Blog) after his public interview and asked him about the reasons behind the late release of the service in the country: As opposed to the popular belief that the problem is all about the restrictions imposed on Lebanese credit cards, PayPal’s GM mentioned that the company follows a roadmap. He explained that the company unrolls its service gradually in different countries according to priority level. The GM confirmed that there is no legal restriction on Lebanon and the only problem is the market not witnessing an important rate of online payment.
It seems like online payment is growing in the country pushing PayPal to add Lebanon on its priority list for 2013 along with Egypt.
PayPal’s reply by the end of 2013:
My name is Laurent Wakim and I am in charge of PayPal’s business in the MENA region.
As my colleague explained to you, when we announced the launch of PayPal services in Egypt in May, there was a misinterpretation about Lebanon’s launch. In 2012, PayPal decided to have a dedicated team focusing on the MENA region. As part of the priorities, expanding our geographic footprint is among the most important ones. That’s why we launched our business in Egypt.
Lebanon is an important market to us (and to me being Lebanese) however when PayPal looks at new opportunities, we need to prioritize them and they compete against other initiatives whether new products, new geographies, …etc. So while enabling Lebanon remains a priority for us, we don’t have any timeline that we can share. There are no reasons per se why PayPal is not launching Lebanon, it is a matter of priorities.
My best regards.
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“The GM confirmed that there is no legal restriction on Lebanon and the only problem is the market not witnessing an important rate of online payment.”
I doubt this being the real excuse. Paypal is an online payment, and online means the World Wide Web, and not only websites hosted in Lebanon.
With paypal, computer/mobile applications, games, ebooks and any kind of software can be bought, regardless of the countries of the seller and the buyer.
With paypal, any product can be bought and shipped from any country. We don’t necessarily have to have online shops in Lebanon to have an online payment system, be it Paypal or any other.
If residents in Lebanon were not using online payments, it’s because we don’t have it.
Yes there are websites that accept credit card payments.
Yes we do have credit cards.
but no we can’t make sure our money will remain in our bank accounts if we submit our credit cards on each website we want to buy from.
Thus, we were in need for a reliable online payment system that’ll be the only one to which we submit our credit card numbers. This online payment system was available for years and years, but not in Lebanon.
And no, prepaid internet cards were not practical enough, except in some situations. That’s not to mention the money we lose when what remains in the card isn’t enough to buy anything. So there’s collateral fees we pay for the card provider.
We all know the Lebanese Prestige, and how much online payments could have been made if it was available.
Well, maybe it was for the better that it wasn’t available. You know what I mean.
As a second thought, don’t provide paypal in Lebanon. 🙂 Just kidding.
Dear Nasry I would like to note that PayPal was not available in Russia for the past years and it is rolling out this year. When three countries from different size and calibers like Russia, Egypt and Lebanon get PayPal at the same time, it gives credibility to the statement of the GM.
Concerning online payment in Lebanon, there are other secure online payment systems being used but the issue is with the Lebanese people not trusting easily an online process: Many local and regional e-commerce companies state that the most popular payment mode on their website is cash on delivery.
Jad, it’s 2014 and Paypal isn’t online yet for Lebanon, did they lied to us? I want it now or I can’t buy almost anything!
Hi Fady, I contacted PayPal to get some updates. You can check their reply at the end of the post…
plz i want open a paypal account but in the country box i cant find “lebanon” yet !!!!!!!!!!!!
Can’t find Lebanon among the countries in PayPal registration yet. When should we see the light in this matter?
Indeed, it is not available yet. Let’s hope it will be as soon as possible!
You know what’s the deal Jad!? I am starting my own business in digital media, I bought accounts in sites where clients all over the world would hire me, and buy my services, but every time I stand questioned about a reliable and secure payment method. I’ve registered at escrow.com, but its a bit complicated in comparison to PayPal. Is there any other way I could use until PayPal arrives?
You should check what e-commerce websites in Lebanon are using…
try moneybrokers, or virtualvisa, or others similar.. ive used tons of online oaying system som eeven in HK, there are tons out there and they are all good. the only difference is that PAYPAL is now well known and accepted by major players, otherwise i would not waste time on it.
[…] PayPal Coming To Lebanon In 2013 – Why We Had To Wait That Much? […]
Egypt already in paypal and Lebanon still OUT,,, the probleme is that Lebanon still in high risk countries and lebanon is 1 of the top 20 countries “laudering money”,and specially when lebanon is linked and open marker to IRAN and Syria ,so no hope at all, Lebanon will never be a paypal member 😦 .
Where is Paypal we are now moving toward 2014 .
Indeed! I will try and get back in contact with someone from PayPal 🙂
Hi Jad, I contacted PayPal to get some updates. You can check their reply at the end of the post…
[…] launched in Egypt last year and Lebanon was supposedly next on the list. However, and as per their reply to Jad from the JRExpress, “there are no reasons per se why PayPal is not launching Lebanon, it’s just a matter […]
heck these Links:
THESE ARE SCREENSHOTS OF MY LATEST CHAT WITH PAYPAL:
so Paypal will not be available this year although ? really we are in 2014
i hate wen i see my country so slow growing ….