A recent report indicates that only a minuscule percentage of Egyptians actually purchase anything online. We're big fans of cash, apparently...
Well it's not much of a surprise that we're big fans of cash-on-delivery with almost everything and their mother turning up at your door at the dial of a button, but despite an increase of over 400% of internet penetration in Egypt between 2004 and 2014, according to a report by Egypt Business Directory only a little more than 3,000 people are actually transacting online, even though Egypt has the highest number of internet users in the Arab World.
The majority of online transactions carried out by Egyptians falls in the categories of electronics, airline tickets, and fashion with the demographics of these transactions showing that 75 percent of users are in their 30s or below that age, and half of them are located in Cairo.
The biggest challenge to online purchasing is the fact that simply not many people have credit cards. According to the report, only 7 percent of the population is banked and only 7.6 million people have credit or debit cards with 80 percent of e-commerce in Egypt relying on cash upon delivery.
The rate of credit card issuance is growing though, annually by more than 40 percent and the Arab e-commerce market is expected to keep booming during the next decade with the number of devices connected to the internet expected to reach 50 billion devices by 2020.
To much of the world the lack of online transactions in Egypt might seem archaic but given the international financial meltdowns of 2011 due to reckless banking policies we might just be ahead of the game by keeping our savings under the floorboards. And much like Egypt has done in the past, for instance with the move from almost no one having landlines to everyone and their mother having a 3G mobile, we will most likely skip this stage of technology and move straight into Bitcoins.