Monday 18, April 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: The upcoming Prepaid Summit: Middle East and Africa is set to further study prepaid in the digital era – exploring developments from card to cloud, according to Douglas Blakey, Group Editor for Consumer Finance at Timetric Financial Services, the event organiser.

He said that more than 150 global and regional industry players are set to join the annual event with speakers ready to discuss virtual companion cards, the burgeoning digital landscape, regional innovations as well as examining risks in the digital age.

Also speaking ahead of the Summit later this month is Paul McCrea, Visa’s Head of Products for Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Visa is on-board as the event’s sponsor, for the sixth year running.

“The Middle East and Africa region is experiencing rapid growth in the prepaid sector, with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and South Africa leading the way. This has been driven by top-down support for electronic payroll and subsidy systems rather than cash-based systems, alongside a rapid surge in the use of the internet and mobile devices,” McCrea said.

According to a recent Visa-commissioned Moody’s Analytics study, prepaid cards make up an important segment of electronic payments and suggesting in the four year period up to 2015 electronic payments in the UAE enhanced the GDP by US$3.7 billion. This stands a $3.4 billion in Saudi Arabia and $3.1 billion in South Africa.

“These results underline the positive impact of the expansion of electronic payments on the economies of the Middle East and Africa region.

“Visa continues to partner with governments, financial institutions, merchants and technology companies to drive financial inclusion, accelerate electronic acceptance and promote commerce growth.

“It is an exciting time to be involved in a sector that is able to seamlessly sync consumer payment ability across financial, retail, government and leisure spend, as well as contribute to increased production, consumption, and employment creation,” McCrea stated.

Sessions at the one-day Summit include discussions on the launch of a prepaid travel card, regional case studies from across MEA, understanding the evolving prepaid customer, financial inclusion programmes, the distribution of prepaid cards and the rise of digital across the prepaid portfolio.

Awarding industry efforts

The Prepaid Middle East and Africa Awards, with 14 awards announced earlier this year and more than 50 nominations received from local and regional organisations, is set to recognise developments made and performances achieved over the past year. All winners will be announced at the Prepaid Awards gala dinner, which follows the day’s conference. All shortlisted companies have now been announced.

Registration for the Prepaid Summit: Middle East and Africa will remain open for a few more weeks at