My name is Lilith, I'm on the Social Care team at Shopify.
Sorry to hear you're having some trouble with the payment gateway approvals.
Different countries will have different gateways available to them. For Saudi Arabia, I have a list of gateways that are available for businesses being run out of that location. You can view that list here. I've also attached a current screenshot of that list below, be aware that this may change from time to time.
Although these gateways are available to merchants in Saudi Arabia, this doesn't guarantee that they can use the gateway. There are other factors such as product type, licensing, local laws and regulations and various other aspects that can affect the approval to use those.
Those factors are out of our hands, but I do recommend taking a look at each of those and seeing what their requirements are for use.
Do you already know exactly what product you'll be selling?
In most cases, merchants can always rely on using PayPal. Although, this only accounts for a portion of sales that are possible (using a credit card processor increases sales), this will give you a start. Be aware though that as a new business owner, PayPal does hold funds in some cases for a little bit in order to minimize the risk they take on and it also minimizes yours too. The risks I'm referring to are chargebacks.
Those are a normal part of doing business. However, it's important that you minimize that as much as possible. Here's a guide to help you keep the business running smoothly and show your payment gateway that you are a low-risk business.
In all honesty and from experience, starting a business is hard work. It won't immediately replace your 9-5 as you mentioned. However, getting started and spending at least an hour a day on your business will help get you to your goals over time.
There will be other challenges along the way as all businesses have, but the key is to ensure that you persevere, switch strategies as quickly as needed and be flexible in the way you operate your business and marketing. The more resilient you are to overcome challenges, the likelier you are to succeed.
Here's free a helpful course from Shopify Academy that might help you gain motivation and ideas on building your business.
Be patient with yourself as you work on building and always feel free to reach out to our support teams for advice or help in setting up or marketing.
Let me know how you do with the information above! I'm happy to answer any questions you think of as you work on your business.
I am an expat in saudi arabia as well and i'd like to ask you, based off your personal experience, is it legal for expats in ksa to start up a shopify store without all the document, certification, and licensing processes?
Besides, I don't recommend you quit. We could help each other out. Thought I won't be using fiverr.