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Country Snapshot: Greece

Country Snapshot: Greece

February 19, 2009
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" Greece historically has been a country highly in favor of payments in cash. "

Sometimes referred to as one of the "Club Med" group of countries and now an adopter of the euro, Greece has made headlines in recent months after riots erupted in several cities after police shot dead a teenager in the capital, Athens. The country also has been paralyzed as Greek farmers demand compensation for low commodity prices.

Greece historically has been a country highly in favor of payments in cash. However, prior to the global credit crisis, the banking system went through significant development and growth and encouraged consumers' steady shift toward noncash purchases and payments.

The increasing number of new products, intense competition between banks — which brought about extensive offers in the large credit cards range — the expansion of the network of accepting merchants and the recent technological developments aiming at secure transactions all drove growth of cards. In Greece, credit cards are almost synonymous with debit cards.

Furthermore, the use of the Internet is becoming common, with 3.8 million Greeks, or 35 percent of its 10.7 million population, having access to the Internet. E-commerce is experiencing promising growth, especially among young consumers. But fraud, such as skimming and card cloning, remains a concern in this market.

Greece has a developed pay-per-call market, with call tariffs ranging from €1.42 to €3.55 per minute. OTE, the former state monopoly, is the main player in fixed-line telephony. Since the liberalization of the telecommunications market, OTE has been slowly losing market share to other telecom operators such as Vivodi, Q-Telecom, Tellas and Forthnet. Greece has four mobile telecom companies: Cosmote, Vodafone, TIM and Q-Telecom.

As for what turns them on, the term "Greek love" has long been used to refer to the practice and, in modern times, sometimes is used as slang for anal sex. So you might want to focus on that popular niche if you are to convert your Greek traffic into cash.

But remember that English is not their native language, so communicate with these surfers in Greek. Thankfully, your picture depicting a gaping butt needs no translation per se, and luckily the term "anal" doesn't either. But when it comes to the important bit — paying you — ask them to do so in their language, not yours.

If you operate a paysite, your billing providers should be able to provide you with geo-targeted scripts to help you do this. If not, you should consider switching to those that do.

As webmasters, we all have profited big-time from globalization thanks to the web. With a little time and effort, we take our brands global with relatively ease and, more importantly, make more money from Greece and elsewhere in the process. The world really is our oyster.


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