MEPS CEO Khaled Zakaria

Pushing Forward With E-Payments

The boss of MEPS says he’s committed to making regional e-payment systems safer and more convenient to use.

Owned by 11 local and regional leading banks and companies, Middle East Payment Services, or MEPS for short, provides a selection of electronic payment services, including security, loyalty, and e-commerce solutions, as well as fraud monitoring, dynamic currency conversion, ATM management and driving, mobile payment services, and bill payment from any point-of-sale (POS).

Recently, the company became the only payment processor in Jordan to launch an Electronic Cash Registry system, which connects the POS device directly to the accompanying cash register, eliminating the need for any manual entry of sales values and preventing merchant double swiping, thereby providing improved accuracy as well as an extra layer of security.

Here, MEPS CEO Khaled Zakaria discusses operating in some of the region’s volatile markets as well as providing a secure method for online payments.

What makes MEPS different from any other online payment company in Jordan and the region?

As one of the region’s few payment processors, card issuers and merchant acquirers of payment cards, MEPS is committed to delivering secure and professional services that meet our customers’ diverse needs.

What sets MEPS apart from other companies is its adoption of the latest technologies, its top security standards, and its unparalleled industry expertise. We also benefit from our strong relationships with major figures of the global payments world; MEPS has principal licenses from Mastercard and UPI to perform all kinds of issuing and acquiring business activities, enabling us to sponsor banks to work under our umbrella and allowing any licensed member to register MEPS as their Third Party Processor (TPP) for issuing and acquiring services. Additionally, MEPS has a license from Visa to perform merchant acquiring and ATM acquiring services. MEPS is also a VisaNet processor, meaning any licensed member of Visa can register MEPS as their TPP.

Alongside Jordan, you have chosen some very interesting markets to operate in. Why did you choose Palestine and Iraq?

While Jordan remains the hub of MEPS’s operation, Palestine and Iraq both provide the company with access to unique business opportunities. The Iraqi market boasts one of the most advanced electronic payment systems in the world, and Palestine has likewise seen rapid growth in the use of electronic payments in recent years. We entered these markets in 2009 after determining that MEPS was well-placed to bridge the gaps in both countries’ financial landscapes. The banks in Palestine and Iraq had a need for a reputable and reliable sponsor and processor. Through their affiliation with a principal member such as MEPS, they were able to gain invaluable industry know-how while also avoiding infrastructural and other related technical costs.

Securing online payments is a major concern for customers, how did you tackle that?

MEPS employs Mastercard Internet Gateway Services (MIGS), a state-of-the-art PCI-DSS compliant Internet gateway capable of accepting Mastercard and Visa, as well as other card payment schemes in the near future. This online payment solution not only saves money by allowing acquirers to make use of rapidly expanding Internet channels without any capital expenditure investments, but also limits risk by utilizing MasterCard’s tried, tested, and secure infrastructure. We also offer 3-D Secure, largely known as Verified by Visa, which provides an additional layer of security to digital transactions. In the coming period, our plan is to focus on advancing the use of Mobile Wallets in Jordan, ensuring, as always, the implementation of the highest security systems in order to guarantee the safety of our customers’ cardholder data.