Exclusive: Stripe planning Middle East & Africa expansion

American online payments startup Stripe that recently raised fresh capital at a valuation of $22.5 billion is planning expansion in the Middle East & Africa, a recent job posting by the company has revealed.

The San Francisco-based company is looking for a business development leader to join their financial partnerships team and to accelerate their “go to market strategies in the Middle East and Africa.”

“This role will be responsible for defining and executing all aspects of the partnerships with financial institutions, acquirers, and card networks needed for Stripe to enter high impact regional markets,” the job posting on Stripe’s website notes.

The role will be based in London that serves as one of Stripe’s global offices but will require frequent multi-week international travel, the job posting points out.

The posting also highlights Arabic language skills as a plus, suggesting that the company is looking to expand into some Middle Eastern countries at least if not all.

Stripe earlier today has entered six new markets, launching their betas in Estonia, Poland, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia, and Malaysia.

Their CEO, making the announcement on Twitter, said, “The internet is global and we’re (impatiently) trying to make all of Stripe’s functionality available in every country. We have a whole lot more global expansion planned for 2019.”

Stripe is one of the most popular payments gateways in the world, mainly because of being developer-friendly and easy integrations.

Companies in MENA can still use Stripe by registering a company in the United States through Stripe Atlas, a service that allows global businesses to incorporate their companies in the United States and accept payments from anywhere in the world.

But Stripe’s expansion to Middle East & Africa could mean that any business that is registered in the Stripe-supported countries of the region can also use their payment gateway and other services.

This could be a big boost for internet entrepreneurs in the region, many of whom struggle with the payment gateways available in MENA due to different reasons.

It would be interesting to see how Stripe works with banks in the region when it comes to MENA as they’re one of the biggest reasons why payment gateways of the region are unable to offer a smooth onboarding experience to businesses.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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