Qatar - ECommerceQatar - eCommerce
With an 85% penetration of internet usage, smart phones and other technology is readily available for use by tech-savvy Qataris. Approximately two-thirds of the population is within the 15-44 age group and has a great interest in on-line shopping. It is believed that only about 14% of the population, however, actually makes online purchases. The main reason appears to be that credit card penetration rates are still rather low at 14%, with debit cards being prevalent (and not always acceptable for online shopping). Many transactions are still conducted as cash-on-delivery.
The country’s Electronic Commerce and Transactions Law was enacted in 2010, providing legislation in areas such as e-signatures, e-documents, and authentication. However, just 28% of companies in Qatar report awareness of the law, according to Qatar Information Communication Technology Landscape Report 2016. Of those business establishments aware of the law, 75% said it reduces the risk of cyber fraud, 53% cite ensuring product quality, and 46% stated it ensures faster delivery. The highest awareness rates are found among larger establishments, as well as in the industry segments education (82%), banking and financial services (73%), and information and communications(51%) . Qatar Central Bank is primarily responsible for regulating electronic banking activities and electronic financial transactions. The Government of Qatar (GoQ) is encouraging greater use of modern technology in government transactions. Additionally, the GoQ is promoting and enhancing E-Commerce through the creation of the E-Government Committee and the Supreme Council for Telecommunications and Information Technology. Several government services and transactions are now possible through the Internet and the goal of putting 100% of key government services online is targeted to be completed by 2020. The private sector however, has taken slow steps in developing its B2B and B2C portals. E-Commerce is expected to flourish given GoQ interest in enhancing this service throughout Qatar.
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