Middle East News 247

Saudi Arabian Consumers Stride Ahead to a Cashless, Online Future

KSA (October 26):  Seamless Saudi Arabia will take place from 2-3 November 2022 in Riyadh to discuss the future of payments, fintech, retail, and e-commerce in the Kingdom.

Since the start of the pandemic, online shopping has increased for 77% of consumers in Saudi Arabia, according to the first report to come out of the Middle East post Covid.  The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) released a report on the findings of an extensive study that was carried out to gauge the types of payments used in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2021. The study’s goal was to evaluate consumer payment habits (cash and non-cash), across all market sectors, including individuals, businesses, and the public sector. 

Soliman Aldukhil, Group Vice President of Tap Payments in KSA, explains, “Modern consumers need quick and effective payment options, and a pandemic around the world demonstrated how everyone needs to move to digital payments and away from cash”. AlDukhil also adds “Institutions and entrepreneurs must collaborate closely to ensure that consumers profit from cutting-edge solutions in a connected paytech world while always staying safe and secure,”.

In Saudi Arabia, cards come in second behind cash as a preferred payment method, including cash-on-delivery. Presently, there are around 31 million cards in circulation, 88% of which are debit cards and 12% are credit cards. One of the main goals of the Financial Sector Development Program, a  part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, is the promotion of digital payment solutions to make the Kingdom a cashless society by 2025,  reaching 70% non-cash payments.

Sultan Alonazi, MD, Saudi Arabia at Tap Payments, advises, “It is important to understand not just the present, but the future of behaviors and education for the next generation of Saudi consumers through platforms like the eCommerce University at Seamless KSA, which we are partnering on this year, and internship programs.”

Discussions on technology and innovation, including Saudi Arabia’s accommodating stance on blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions, are also anticipated. Mohsen Al Zahrani was chosen by the Saudi Arabian central bank in 2022 to head its virtual assets and digital currency initiative. This choice coincides with the region’s and Saudi citizens’ adoption of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin.com according to news from April, 54% of Saudi citizens believed that cryptocurrencies should be used as money in addition to being viewed as an asset for investment. In a similar vein, another study discovered that 14% of Saudi citizens currently trade cryptocurrencies or had done so in the six months prior. 

You can check out the Tap Payments team on 2 exciting panels. On November 2, Sultan Alonazi, MD, Saudi Arabia, will participate in a panel discussion titled “Striving toward Saudi Arabia’s cashless society of 2030: developing a digitally empowered and financially literate people” where Tap Payments will examine the future of Saudi payments. Tap Payments, the leading paytech business that is redefining online payments throughout MENA, has Sultan Alonazi as its Managing Director of its KSA business. His professional experience has centered around banking, fintech, and government authorities. He has held previous positions such as CEO of Geidea and other senior executive positions in Riyad Bank, SABB, STCpay, and Ministry of Justice. He also has a broad range of experience in economics, marketing, and sales. He is thrilled to have the chance to work with Tap Payments to help Saudi Arabia realize its goal of having a cashless society. 

Speaking on the topic of “One giant leap: the rapid evolution of payments methods in the new normal” on November 3rd will be Ahmed Alaradi, Group EVP, Business, Tap Payments. Santhosh Jayaram, COO, Marshal FinTech Partners, will conduct the interview.

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