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Iraq's 'ZainCash' introduces chanbar.com e-commerce platform to encourage Iraqi online entrepreneurs turn ideas into reality

  • Platform empowers SMEs to launch customizable online stores within 24 hours
  • Chanbar.com leverages Facebook Messenger to place merchants in direct contact with customers
  • Promoting inclusive, sustainable growth and jobs for the Iraqi community
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Baghdad, Iraq – 15 March, 2017

Iraq Wallet, the country’s leading mobile wallet and digital payment company, announces it has expanded its ‘ZainCash’ service by introducing and launching chanbar.com, a multi-channel, cloud-based e-commerce platform to support Iraqi online entrepreneurs. Chanbar.com allows small and medium-sized businesses to launch customizable online stores within 24 hours at no charge to the businesses, and is being delivered through. The first of its kind in Iraq, this life-empowering service is available to Zain mobile customers through the mobile operator’s nationwide 3.9G network.

Chanbar.com eliminates the cost and effort related to designing, coding, hosting, integration and other set-up activities, enabling entrepreneurs to kick off their e-commerce projects swiftly. The initiative also encourages off-line merchants to open new digital selling channels effortlessly.

The introduction of Chanbar.com will play an important role in helping develop economic diversification which is fundamental towards the development of Iraq, and is in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals goal 8: “Decent Work and Economic Growth,” which promotes inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

This online undertaking by Iraq Wallet is ideal for a country like Iraq given the country has one of the most youthful populations in the world, with nearly 50% of its inhabitants being under the age of 19 years. The use of technology has also risen exponentially since 2003, with 78% of Iraqis now using mobile phones and 12% of the population owning a personal computer.

Chanbar.com utilizes Messenger to enhance its e-commerce platform and streamline shopping activities. Given that significant numbers of businesses and end-consumers in Iraq are actively present on Facebook and over 1 billion people use Messenger monthly, leveraging this channel to showcase products, converse with customers, and begin the checkout process is viewed as being a highly effective sales channel. Customers can view merchant’s product catalogs while conversing over Messenger, and are then able to tap through to browse and buy products and services, completing the purchase over chanbar.com.

Commenting on the introduction of this latest e-commerce platform, Yazen Altimimi, CEO of Iraq Wallet said, “We see a lot of talented entrepreneurs in Iraq who only require the tools to start profitable and sustainable businesses. We are keen to support their efforts and believe the Chanbar platform can and will encourage thousands of budding entrepreneurs in Iraq to turn their ideas into reality.”

Altimimi continued, “We are building a forward-looking platform that reflects the latest trends in shopping behavior. We believe utilizing Facebook messenger as another selling vertical is a progressive step given the service’s popularity, and we expect it to prove highly successful.”

Messenger is popular among Iraqi consumers, who spend a substantial amount of time discovering, evaluating, and communicating on Facebook.

Youth development plays a significant role in Zain Group’s corporate sustainability efforts, and this is even more evident in a market such as Iraq given its youthful population and limited formal employment opportunities given the social instability in the country. Thus, Zain continues to be an active player in promoting entrepreneurship, e-commerce and the digital economy in Iraq. 

ZainCash Mobile Wallet was incorporated in March of 2013 to develop financial solutions via mobile and web and was granted a license by the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) in December 2015. It is the largest e-banking service provider in Iraq, offering the Iraqi customer the easiest and most convenient access to financial services across the country.

Its main consumer services include P2P money transfer, utility bill payments, digital goods, mobile recharge and e-commerce checkout. All these transactions can now be conducted directly from a Zain mobile customer’s phone, be it a smartphone or a regular mobile, or at an appointed Iraq Wallet Agent.

All current and future ZainCash services will also be subject to the systems and safety protocols instituted and overseen by the Central Bank of Iraq, which has established operational regulatory and administrative frameworks for these services in line with international standards. The Central Bank of Iraq’s mission is to promote confidence in the economy through the creation of a safe economic environment coupled with a sound competitive system for all. This outlook has been reaffirmed through several policies and procedures introduced by this major financial institution on several occasions.

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