Jordan: Jordanian Internet users spent $370 million on products, services and online bill payments in 2011, a 92 per cent increase from $192 million in 2010, according to a report by the Arab Advisers Group.
The 84-page report showed that 24.4 per cent of Internet users in Jordan used e-commerce to buy products or services or pay their bills online in 2011, compared to 15.4 per cent in 2010.
The number of e-commerce users in 2011 was estimated at around 514,000, or around 8.2 per cent of the total population of Jordan, the group said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.
“The rise in the volume of e-commerce in Jordan is due to more awareness among Jordanians of the importance and convenience of using e-commerce,” Jawad J. Abbassi, Arab Advisers founder and general manager, told The Jordan Times over the phone from Dubai Thursday.
Abbassi added that the increase in online shopping and bill payments was also due to an increase in the number of Jordanians holding credit cards that can be used online.
“There has also been an increase in the number of local institutions that allow Jordanians to pay for products and services online,” he added.
He also attributed the rise in volume of e-commerce to the increase in broadband Internet connections in the Kingdom.
The report indicated that 12.6 per cent of households with fixed broadband connections shared their connections with their neighbours.
“Due to the practice of fixed broadband account sharing by households, the Arab Advisers Group estimates the number of households with broadband connections in Jordan to have been around 292,000 by the end of September 2011. This yields an effective fixed broadband accounts penetration rate of 4.70 per cent and an effective broadband household penetration rate of 25.60 per cent, Noura Abdulhadi, Arab Advisers project manager, said in the statement.
“While the Arab countries are at varying degrees of development when it comes to broadband and e-commerce adoption, a majority of the Arab markets are showing excellent growth. This bodes well for regional and global e-commerce players targeting the Arab world. The solid rise in e-commerce use and expenditure in Jordan between 2010 and 2011 is but one example of this regional boom,” Abbassi said.
E-commerce users, however, said fears of e-fraud and delays in delivery still discourage them from making online transactions.
“Once, I bought a book online and it took more than three weeks to get it delivered to me. When the shipment arrives in Jordan, there are procedures at customs control and that delays the service,” Mohammed El Sheikh, a salesman, told The Jordan Times.
Salwa Hammoudeh, an accountant, said she uses her credit card to pay for music or movie downloads, but she is always careful not to buy products that are expensive.
“I have a prepaid credit card that I use sometimes online. But I do not use my credit card that is connected to my main bank account, because I fear that I might be a victim of e-fraud and lose all my money,” she said.