Tuesday 13, October 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: Middle East banks can learn the latest digital payment strategies at GITEX Technology Week 2015 to support the GCC’s rapidly-growing e-commerce market, set to reach USD 15 billion in 2015, experts announced today.

Banks in the GCC are under pressure to innovate digital services over the next two years, as cash is becoming obsolete, consumers are becoming bankers, and banks adopt “smart” solutions, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan.

As a result, the e-commerce market in the GCC is climbing by nearly five-fold over the past five years, from USD 3.3 billion in 2010 to USD 15 billion in 2015, according to a report by AT Kearney.

Advanced banking technologies that will be on display at GITEX Technology Week 2015 include biometric identification authentication, digital payment tokens, and Bluetooth payments, cybersecurity threats, and how banks and financial institutions can use Big Data to transform the customer experience.

“Payments are going digital, contactless and mobile at a stunning pace. A new breed of customers and a whole new range of financial players, fragmentation and complexity issues as well as new opportunities are reshaping the banking landscape,” said François Chaffard, Director for Banking Solutions and Services for Middle East and Africa at Gemalto.

“To succeed in this new world order, banks must open up to new ways of serving their customers and have a strong omni-channel digital strategy to cater for all and offer a secure seamless experience with competitive value propositions,” added François Chaffard.

Gemalto will present at the GTX Banking TechVertical Conference, joining speakers from leading banks such as Al Rajhi Banking Corporation, Emirates Islamic Bank, and Emirates NBD in addressing digital banking strategies.

“The Middle East’s banking and finance is one of the fastest-digitising sectors, particularly in the GCC, where there is high usage of mobile devices,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), organisers of GITEX Technology Week 2015.

“With GCC consumers and businesses increasingly moving to cashless and digital lifestyles, GITEX Technology Week 2015 offers an opportunity to regional banks and financial institutions to discover the latest technology solutions that can enhance their operations and deliver a positive customer experience,” added LohMirmand.

On the back end, GCC banks need to develop omni-channel services that can deliver services and information across channels according to the Frost & Sullivan report. Banks also need to implement Big Data analytics to enable context-aware and predictive analysis and decisions for personalising services and making targeted offers.

Banking customers across the region are also expected to further adopt digital wallets for electronic payments without physical cards, while NFC chips are enabling customers to make payments using mobile devices. Alternative lending sources such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending could also reduce the dependency on traditional banking services, added the Frost & Sullivan report.

Furthering digital transformation in the banking and finance sector, professional services company Accenture will serve as the GITEX Technology Week Digital Transformation Partner.

For more information on GITEX Technology Week – held under the theme of “The Internet Future of Everything” – will run from 18-22 October 2015 at DWTC – visit: www.gitex.com.