Buy now, pay later — the most preferred payment in the region: Fintech panel

Special Speaking at a panel discussion on the BNPL evolution at the DIFC Fintech Week from June 28 to 29, the industry leaders pointed out how the finance option revolutionized the fintech industry.
Speaking at a panel discussion on the BNPL evolution at the DIFC Fintech Week from June 28 to 29, the industry leaders pointed out how the finance option revolutionized the fintech industry.
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Updated 28 June 2022

Buy now, pay later — the most preferred payment in the region: Fintech panel

Buy now, pay later — the most preferred payment in the region: Fintech panel

DUBAI: Buy now, pay later, a financing option that allows customers to pay flexibly, has become the preferred mode of payment in the region, said top fintech players.

Speaking at a panel discussion on the BNPL evolution at the DIFC Fintech Week from June 28 to 29, the industry leaders pointed out how the finance option revolutionized the fintech industry.

The leaders present during the panel discussion were CEO Tamara Abdulmajeed Al-Sukhan, CEO Tabby Hosam Arab, Srinath Hariharan, head of product management, Amazon Payment Services; and Melissa Guzy, co-founder, Arbor Ventures.

During the discussion, Al-Sukhan said that Tamara is not just a BNPL product or a silent banking solution; instead, it always stands for its customers and serves them when they need help.

For his part, Arab said that there is a lot of work to be done beyond just building a tech solution on checkout. Arab added that mass adoption is a success factor as there is apparent adoption on both the consumer and provider’s sides.

“We make our money from the merchants that we work with. However, getting a business that sustains itself and can build real value for investors and stakeholders is the hard part,” Arab further noted.

Hariharan explained that BNPL is not a one-size fit for all products.

Guzy said that BNPL is a category that is quite different worldwide and cautioned that start-ups that think they will raise money in the next few months would be disappointed.

Seeking talent

Guzy revealed that hiring the right talent in the fintech sector is a pretty tricky task, and entrepreneurs should be creative and strategic during the hiring process due to the shortage of professional skills.

Tabby’s Arab, however, noted that the company is looking for fresh graduates to enhance local fintech.

During the discussion, Al-Sukhan noted that Tamara had hired people from worldwide.

Hariharan said that in terms of talent acquisition and retention, people relate growth with vertical growth. “One aspect is how do you ensure there is sustainable career growth?” he asked, adding that “another aspect is balance and work-life harmony.”

Risk factor

Talking about the risks, Al-Sukhan said that Tamara has a full risk assessment team other than the data team.

“With the data we have, we reroute ourselves, and we make sure that we are not underwriting like six months ago,” added Sukhan.

Arab commented that Tabby took a different approach by not chasing growth to avoid risks.

“Our customers are largely debit card consumers,” he added.

The way ahead

With regard to future plans, Hariharan said that Amazon Payment Services is engaging in multiple sectors and curating multiple experiences for merchants and customers.

Tabby, on the other hand, is investing quite deeply in virtual cards that customers can use offline to purchase at stores.


Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften N

Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften    N
Updated 16 sec ago

Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften N

Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften    N

RIYADH: Gold prices hovered on Wednesday near their highest level in more than a month, supported by a weaker dollar with investors awaiting US inflation data, which is expected to influence the pace of Federal Reserve rate hikes.

Spot gold held its ground at $1,793.39 per ounce, as of 0318 GMT, after hitting its highest since July 5 at $1,800.29 on Tuesday. US gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,810.

Silver eases

Spot silver eased 0.2 percent to $20.47 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.4 percent to $930.14. 

Palladium edged 0.1 percent higher to $2,217.40.

Corn ease, wheat up

Chicago corn futures eased on Wednesday, as the market took a breather after climbing to a one-week high in the previous session on concerns over hot and dry weather in parts of the US Midwest.

Wheat rose for a third consecutive session, although hopes of more grain exports from Ukraine limited gains.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade rose a quarter of a cent to $6.14-1/4 a bushel, as of 0028 GMT, and soybeans slid 0.1 percent to $14.27-1/2 a bushel.

Wheat added 0.5 percent to $7.85-3/4 a bushel.

London base metals soften

Prices of most base metals in London eased on Wednesday after China’s inflation in July hit a two-year high, while investors were braced for continued hawkishness from the Federal Reserve ahead of the highly anticipated US inflation data.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange lost 0.8 percent to $7,920.50 a ton by 0309 GMT.

The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dipped 0.3 percent to $9,026.33 a ton.

LME zinc fell 1.1 percent to $3,499 a ton, lead lost 0.8 percent to $2,149 a ton, tin declined 0.8 percent to $24,235 a ton.

(With input from Reuters) 


Emirates announces third daily flight to Mauritius

Emirates announces third daily flight to Mauritius
Updated 33 min 28 sec ago

Emirates announces third daily flight to Mauritius

Emirates announces third daily flight to Mauritius

DUBAI: Emirates has announced plans to add a third-daily flight to Mauritius starting Oct. 1, 2022, a statement on state-run news agency WAM said. 
The plans to increase the frequency of flights to Mauritius by adding an evening flight is in response to increased travel demand to and from the country and will boost connectivity to the island nation.
Emirates’ third-daily flight to Mauritius will boost seat capacity on the routes by approximately 35 percent, catering to the surge in demand and providing added support to the tourism industry during one of the busiest travel seasons.

The added frequency supplements the existing double-daily Airbus A380 services.

Emirates started operations to Mauritius in September 2002 with three weekly flights. 

The airline is currently in its 20th year of operations to the island nation.

 Mauritius is a very popular leisure destination, and continues to experience consistent growth post-pandemic.


TASI opens flat as investors await inflation and earnings reports: Opening bell

TASI opens flat as investors await inflation and earnings reports: Opening bell
Updated 49 min 38 sec ago

TASI opens flat as investors await inflation and earnings reports: Opening bell

TASI opens flat as investors await inflation and earnings reports: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks market started flat on Wednesday as investors await inflation data and additional earnings reports.

As of 10:07 a.m. Saudi time, the Saudi benchmark index TASI and the parallel market Nomu traded at 12,336 and 22,201, respectively.

The Kingdom’s oil giant Saudi Aramco dropped 0.13 percent, while the country's biggest lender Saudi National Bank gained 0.41 percent.

Al-Jouf Agricultural Development Co. rose 0.77 percent, after seeing its profits jump 203 percent during the first half of 2022 to SR22 million ($6 million).

National Gas and Industrialization Co. fell 1.73 percent after a 14 percent decline in net profit to SR105 million during the first half of this year.

Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance Co. increased 0.51 percent, after it received final approval from the Saudi Central Bank to sell its new insurance product in the Kingdom.

Filling and Packing Materials Manufacturing Co. climbed 2.72 percent, after its board proposed a SR115 million capital increase through rights issues.

Walaa Cooperative Insurance Co. lost 0.40 percent, after its losses widened to SR27 million during the first half of 2022, compared to SR13 million in the same period last year.

Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Co. gained 1.66 percent, after approving the sale of SR211 million worth of land owned by the company in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarh.

Baazeem Trading Co. declined 1.88 percent, after its half-year profit was down 8.5 percent to SR13.4 million.

Theeb Rent a Car Co. increased 1.52 percent, after its profit rose by 68 percent to SR86 million during the first half of 2022.

Southern Province Cement Co. slipped 1.53 percent, after reporting a 42 percent profit drop to SR150 million for the first half of 2022.

Saudi miner Almasane Alkobra Mining Co. dropped 1.66 percent, after its profits dropped 11 percent to SR82 million during the first half of 2022.


Saudi PIF acquires stakes in 4 Egyptian companies for about $1 billion: Asharq sources

Saudi PIF acquires stakes in 4 Egyptian companies for about $1 billion: Asharq sources
Updated 37 min 21 sec ago

Saudi PIF acquires stakes in 4 Egyptian companies for about $1 billion: Asharq sources

Saudi PIF acquires stakes in 4 Egyptian companies for about $1 billion: Asharq sources

RIYADH: The Saudi Egyptian Investment Co., affiliated with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, has acquired stakes in four Egyptian companies, for about $1 billion, Asharq reported citing sources.

The four companies are E-Finance for Financial and Digital Investments, Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemical Industries, MOPCO and Alexandria Container & Cargo Handling Co.

The agreement comes after a government official confirmed to Asharq on Tuesday that the SEIC successfully completed an agreement to buy 25 percent of the shares of the Misr Fertilizer Production Co., MOPCO, at a premium of 25 percent over the stock price on the stock exchange.


Saudi Industrial Production Index rose by 21% in June

Saudi Industrial Production Index rose by 21% in June
Updated 10 August 2022

Saudi Industrial Production Index rose by 21% in June

Saudi Industrial Production Index rose by 21% in June

RIYADH: Saudi Industrial Production Index increased by 20.8 percent from a year ago, according to data from General Authority for Statistics.

"The IPI continued to show positive growth rates due to the high production in mining & quarrying, and manufacturing activity," Gastat said in a statement today.