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
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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.


Mastercard: Smart cities key to a more connected MEA

Mastercard was a sponsoring patron at the recent World Cities Summit in Singapore.
Updated 23 July 2018
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Mastercard: Smart cities key to a more connected MEA

Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, continues to champion the fundamental role of smart cities in enabling a more connected and inclusive future for the Middle East and Africa (MEA). The company reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the development of smart cities through meaningful partnerships with both the public and private sectors at the recent World Cities Summit in Singapore, where Mastercard was a sponsoring patron.
Markets across the region are already heavily investing in the future of cities, with figures from the International Data Corporation forecasting that spending on technologies that enable smart city initiatives will reach $1.26 billion in MEA in 2018.
Commending the exceptional efforts of regional governments in implementing smart city initiatives and creating more opportunities for their cities’ transformation into vibrant hubs for innovation, Mastercard experts at the summit shed light on the significance of a “public-private-people (3P)” model and data analytics as key enablers of the technologies that will open doors to the cities of the future.
“An inclusive future for all is a shared responsibility and we believe that effective collaborations hinged on a dynamic public-private-people model is the way forward if we want to unlock the full potential of our cities. Mastercard is focused on making cities more efficient and inclusive by enabling ecosystems that benefit residents, visitors and local businesses. The key to the success of these cities is partnerships, and we will continue to engage with governments, NGOs and leaders in innovation to enable a smarter and more connected future for all,” said J.K. Khalil, cluster head, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Mastercard.
As part of its participation at the summit, Mastercard welcomed a delegation of the region’s most prominent journalists and influencers, where it facilitated in-depth discussions with industry experts and showcased the latest technologies to demonstrate and build advocacy for smart and connected cities.
With two billion adults around the world still lacking access to financial services, Mastercard is helping advance inclusive communities globally through its collaborations. The company has partnered with over 60 governments globally to deliver more than 1,600 scalable programs in various cities and communities around the world.