KSA top digital banking market in MENA

Ahmed Al-Faifi, senior vice president and managing director, SAP Middle East North, second from right, receives the Banker Middle East Award for ‘Best Technology Provider — Middle East.’
Updated 10 July 2018
0

KSA top digital banking market in MENA

As Saudi banks digitally transform, the Kingdom ranks as the top digital banking market in the Middle East and North Africa, with more than three quarters of banking customers using online or mobile apps, industry experts announced Monday.
In a recent survey of regional banking customers by research firm ArabNet, 76 percent of Saudi banking customers use digital platforms, and 60 percent use online and mobile apps, both ranking highest in the region. Top Saudi digital banking offerings are loyalty programs (53 percent), mobile discount coupons (51 percent), and virtual prepaid debit cards (50 percent), according to McKinsey.
“The Kingdom is one of the world’s most digitally advanced countries, and banks are leading their transformation with real-time digital solutions to meet their customers’ banking needs,” said Khaled Alsaleh, managing director, SAP Saudi Arabia. “Saudi banks are driving new and innovative banking models in line with Saudi Vision 2030 goals for economic growth and diversification.”
Across the Middle East and North Africa, banking and security firms are driving their digital transformation, with $12 billion being invested in technology, according to research firm Gartner.
Among the Kingdom’s biggest digital banking growth drivers are moving to the cloud, which SAP supports with the recent launch of its local public cloud data center in the Kingdom. “We are co-innovating with Saudi banks on breakthrough cloud-based technology innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and the Internet of Things to optimize costs, foster innovation, and transform the digital and in-person customer experiences,” added Alsaleh.
SAP Saudi Arabia was recently recognized as “Best Technology Provider — Middle East” at the Banker Middle East Awards. In the Kingdom, SAP is also working closely on enabling the digital transformation of leading banking and financial institutions, including the Islamic Development Bank and the Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority.
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device — SAP aims to empower people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition.
SAP applications and services enable more than 388,000 business and public-sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably, the company said in a statement.


Saudi musicians perform at Aloft Hotels concert

Aloft Hotels is Marriott International’s brand for music lovers and music makers.
Updated 20 November 2018
0

Saudi musicians perform at Aloft Hotels concert

Aloft Hotels, Marriott International’s brand for music lovers and music makers, licensed by the General Entertainment Authority in Saudi Arabia and in partnership with Eplus, recently organized a music event in Riyadh titled “Music Makers Live @Aloft Hotels.”

Emerging artists were invited to the hotel where selected musicians auditioned along with Hejazi, a popular local band. The performing musicians were in the spotlight at Aloft Riyadh on Nov. 9.

“Saudi Arabia has a great number of very talented artists that are awaiting their opportunity to emerge. With ‘Live at Aloft Hotels’ concert series arriving in the Kingdom we aim to provide local talent with the perfect platform to showcase their music,” said Adel Jubran, general manager at Aloft Hotels.

“At Aloft we love music and we believe this is a great way for us to contribute back to the community through providing another outlet for the Saudi youth to be entertained,” he added.

The artists who participated in the auditions submitted a video file of their best performance along with their personal information via WhatsApp.

The event was part of the “Live At Aloft Hotels” concert series, an international program aimed to support emerging artists around the world by hosting free live music performances. The best performing artists at the live shows receive valuable rewards from Aloft Hotels.

The event partner of “Music Makers Live @Aloft Hotels,” Eplus, is a leading company in the entertainment sector having produced popular events across the Kingdom, including Michael Fadel’s concert in King Abdullah Economic City, “Khan Al-Khalili” festival in Jeddah, and “Bakshat Al-Eid” in Arar.