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Top Transformative Trends in Digital Payments Across the MENA Region

Top Transformative Trends in Digital Payments Across the MENA Region
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With ambitious government strategies prioritizing digitalization, businesses in the MENA region are adapting to a fast-paced environment where digital payments are becoming increasingly important due to rising online retail sales and technological advancements in payment processes. Leading the discussion on digital payment trends, Amazon Payment Services, in collaboration with Davies Hickman Partners, released a report titled "Leading Trends in Digital Payments: Driving the Real-Time Economy in MENA."

The report, based on insights from over 100 payment executives in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt, highlights key payment trends relevant to regional businesses. Peter George, managing director of Amazon Payment Services MENA, emphasized that the report aims to help businesses navigate this evolving landscape, enhance customer experiences, and boost revenues. It offers actionable strategies and insights into important trends such as omni-pay advances, security technologies, and artificial intelligence, reflecting Amazon's commitment to meeting merchant demand for up-to-date industry insights.

Insights on Customer Loyalty

A key finding of the report highlights that fast checkout and payment completion are crucial for building customer loyalty. Eighty-one percent of businesses recognize that quicker payment transactions can lead to increased revenues. With customers' busy schedules, prolonged transactions pose a risk of abandonment, a concern shared by 83 percent of the executives.

As nearly a third of businesses anticipate substantial growth in 2024, enhancements in digital payments are essential for sustained success. Executives identified several noteworthy trends, including the integration of bank accounts with national identity, the rise of digital wallets, enhanced payment experiences, fraud reduction, and improved biometric authentication. These trends are expected to shape business strategies and influence customer payment preferences in the coming years.

Innovation and Advances in Omni-Pay:

  • With increasing demand for flexible and convenient payment methods, omni-pay is becoming a pivotal trend.
  • Governments and regulators are actively introducing regulations to facilitate rapid changes in digital payments.
  • Innovations like stablecoins, open banking, and account-to-account payments are gaining traction, providing businesses with new transactional flexibility.
  • Fintech innovation and payment fragmentation are among the top payment drivers of change for the next five years, as noted by respondents.
  • 89% of executives engage with fintechs to enhance their payment processes.

Enhanced Experiences:

  • Enhanced payment experiences are crucial for driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Faster, more streamlined transactions are prioritized, with digital wallets and embedded payments in apps emerging as preferred methods.
  • 87% of executives believe digital wallets are becoming the preferred payment method for customers.
  • Social commerce is rising, with 59% of executives aiming to advance it and 54% expecting customers to use live streaming to buy products and services promoted by social media influencers.

Centred on Security:

  • In an era of growing cybersecurity threats, payment safety is paramount.
  • Innovations in biometrics and enhanced security features are building consumer trust.
  • 68% of businesses consider earning customer trust the most important reason to deploy new payment methods.
  • Governments and regulators are enhancing payment authentication, boosting confidence in digital transactions.

Aligning with and Adapting to Artificial Intelligence (AI):

  • AI is revolutionizing payment processing efficiency, offering cost reduction and personalization opportunities.
  • AI-driven insights enable businesses to predict preferred payment methods and tailor offerings to individual preferences, enhancing the payment experience.
  • Businesses are encouraged to focus on building trust, offering choice, driving change, and prioritizing sustainability in their payment strategies.
  • Trust is identified as a cornerstone, with 68% of executives agreeing it is the primary driver for deploying payment technology.
“Our aim with these essential conversations is to empower businesses across MENA to seamlessly embrace digital payments, enhancing efficiency, security, and customer experiences. We strive to play a meaningful role in advancing the regional digital economy, driving sustainable growth, and fostering a culture of innovation,”

said George.

News Source: Gulf Business

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