Saudi-Pakistan Investment Forum discusses boosting trade and investment partnerships    Crown Prince concludes MEGISummit: We will work seriously to achieve our goals    EXIM Bank signs MoU with Japanese Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation    Saudi Pavilion at EXPO 2020 marks 76th anniversary of UN establishment    Greece premier praises importance of Middle East Green Initiative Summit    Saudi Arabia calls for restraint, de-escalation in Sudan    Riyadh Season hosts Barcelona and Boca Juniors on Maradona Cup night    Monshaat partners with MITEF Saudi & Arab Startup Competition    HSBC CEO — 2021 set to be first trillion-dollar year for green bonds    Riyadh dominates GCC rankings in human capital    All eyes on Jeddah! World's best golfers set for climax of Aramco Team Series    Crown Prince launches series of regional initiatives for climate action at MEGI Summit Ushering in a new green era for Mideast region    WFP's Beasley lauds Saudi Arabia's role in providing aid to millions around the globe    RedSeaIFF announces best short films by emerging Saudi filmmakers 15 shorts make up New Saudi/New Cinema slate    Pakistan hammer India by 10 wickets to clinch T20 win    Michael Jordan's trainers sell for record $1.47m at auction    China postpones Beijing marathon due to Covid surge    US actor James Michael Tyler dies aged 59    Bride's fingerprint not required in revised e-marriage contract    'Easy On Me': Adele returns to UK number one    'Be a Star' — WWE stars fight cyberbullying in Riyadh    Bollywood superstar's son denied bail in drugs case    Saudis, expats mourn death of prominent Filipino preacher in Riyadh    Bollywood actor Sidharth Shukla dies at 40    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Directs KSrelief to Urgently Provide Malaysia with Medical, Preventive Equipment and Supplies to Address COVID-19 Pandemic    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Congratulates President of Maldives on Independence Day    Weather Forecast for Sunday    RSNF Commander Patronizes Ceremonial Launching of His Majesty's Ship "Jazan"    OIC Condemns Houthi Attempts to Target Civilians in Saudi Arabia    Philippines evacuates thousands as monsoon rains flood cities, provinces    Heavy rain in India triggers floods, landslides; at least 125 dead    U.S. Records 64,321 New Infections of Coronavirus    Without Fans, Tokyo Olympics Kicked Off    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Dr. Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabia's Pick to Chair IsDB Group for the next five years, unanimously approved by BoG Committee of Procedures    Saudi Press: Fitch affirms Saudi Credit Rating at "A" with a revised outlook to stable from negative    Handled Cargo at Saudi Ports Increases during June 2021    SDAIA, DARP & STC Launch Pilgrim's Smart Bracelet (NUSK)    2 Goals by Diaz Gives Colombia 3rd Place at Copa America    Saudi Cinema Night at Arab World Institute in Paris Kicks Off    KSU Leads Joint International Scientific Project for Early Detection of Breast Cancer    Saudi Arabia to Participate in Cannes Film Festival 2021    Arab Cup U-17 Championship Draw Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Palestine, Kuwait, in the 1st Group    AWI Hosts Saudi Cinema Nights in Paris    Brazil Beats Chile at Copa America Despite 2nd-Half Red Card    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Digital transformation a key enabler of Saudi Vision 2030 objectives
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 24 - 03 - 2019

Digital transformation will be one of the most significant value drivers unlocking major economic value and enabling the diversification that the Saudi Arabian economy requires going forward under Vision 2030, Mastercard General Manager for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain J. K. Khalil said.
As a trusted partner to the Saudi government, Mastercard has been at the forefront of supporting the Kingdom's digital economy agenda and has played a key role in enabling digitization through cutting-edge payment innovations and solutions, he pointed out.
In an interview, Khalil said Mastercard recently collaborated very closely with the national payment system of the Kingdom, mada, on the roll-out of Apple Pay, which is answering consumer needs for new and innovative payment solutions that offer enhanced convenience as well as greater safety and security. "Earlier last year, our partnership with mada has also enabled over 30 million Saudi mada cardholders to shop online for the first time, thereby contributing to the opening up and growth of the e-commerce sector," he said, adding that "in the past, as another example, we had supported the Saudi Post's branch network to digitize transaction acceptance across all their online and physical challenges."
Excerpts of the interview follow:
• What factors will accelerate the development of a cashless society in the Kingdom?
A cashless society is among the top objectives of the Saudi government and an essential pillar of the Financial Sector Development Plan (FSDP) supporting Vision 2030. In fact, one of the key objectives of FSDP is to increase non-cash transactions to 28% in 2020 and 70% by 2030.
Mastercard is responding to the evolving needs of consumers in the Kingdom through mobile payment solutions that allow them to make safe and easy payments at their fingertips. At the same time, the government's efforts to digitize key sectors will also play a central role in accelerating the country's shift to a cashless economy. By increasing the use cases that utilize digital payments in the economy, beyond just retail and e-commerce, and expanding these use cases into mobility and transit, smart cities, as well government flows (G2B, G2C, etc.) will all be key requirements to achieve the vision for a cashless society. Additionally, and as a key equipment as well, expanding the acceptance side of the payments, across all channels and leveraging all kinds of new technologies, from online, to QR, to mPOS and other emerging acceptance technologies will make all the difference when opening up new merchant categories or sectors to acceptance. Finally, with continuous support from the regulators to enable new fintech players to come in and complement the work that banks do, as well as by introducing new regulations that create preference for non-cash vs cash transactions will all be major catalysts in that journey that the Kingdom has embarked on.
• How can a thriving fintech ecosystem enable the Kingdom's digital economy?
Mastercard understands that the development of a fintech ecosystem is a critical enabler for any economy in its diversification efforts. A thriving fintech sector will not only support the objectives of the Kingdom's vision, but also help strengthen the country's position as a fintech hub, talent and capital attraction, as well as on having a significant positive impact on Saudi Arabia's to unlock new sectors of the economy such as the SME sector, helping diversify the local economy and creating new job opportunities.
Local fintech players are in an excellent bellwether to understand the pain points faced by both SMEs and consumers in any given market and, therefore, are best suited to create solutions that address and respond to these challenges. In addition, fintech players bring outside-of-the-box thinking and creative approaches to problem-solving, growth hacking and busting into new sectors, if not creating new sectors or service lines and business models altogether, making them a critical enabler for innovation and to increase the overall economic pie.
The great news is that, if you were to believe some of the research being produced recently, private funding investments in GCC-based fintech start-ups is expected to reach $2billion over the next 10 years, signaling a massive opportunity for the Kingdom's fintech ecosystem.[1] Government initiatives such as Fintech Saudi, launched by Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), are boosting the local fintech platform and seeding the ecosystem in preparation for the fintech explosion we are due to see over the next decade.
At Mastercard, we work heavily with the startup and fintech community through our global Start Path program, where we identify later stage commercially viable startups on the cusp of scaling up their businesses. As part of this program, companies benefit from our deep knowledge and industry experts, gain access to our global network of partners and partner with them exploring opportunities to innovate across all markets.
• How are emerging technologies shaping the future of the payments ecosystem? Is the region ready for a major disruption in the payments space?
Emerging technologies are disrupting and expanding the payments sector globally and regionally, making it one of the fastest areas in banking and finance by miles. By leveraging the power of big data, machine learning and predictive analytics, emerging disruptors are able to build new business models that provide data-driven and real time customer experiences with enriched content and decision-making abilities. Other disrupting platforms like blockchain, for instance, have also started to emerge as powerful technologies with the potential to create new opportunities to revolutionize various industries.
At Mastercard, we are able to leverage on these emerging innovations and weave them into our product and services roadmaps, redefining the commerce and payments experience for our consumers, banks and merchants through greater convenience, enhanced safety and security and increased simplicity. We are, in fact, leading in new technologies such as Blockchain and AI and are currently ranked 3rd globally with 70+Blockchain patent submissions.
From a regional perspective, fintech startups, which are today close to 100 – almost 4 times the number 8 years ago – are starting to pave the way for a potential fintech rising. However, we don't believe that their rise will lead to significant disruptions, given the maturity of the markets and the state of regulation. But rather, fintechs, that are today quite closely guided and overseen by the various regulatory frameworks in the region, are finding other more convenient ways to establish themselves by partnering with existing and well-established financial institutions leveraging various models, ranging from arm's length investments to close partnership and collaboration. These models will surely help the overall fintech ecosystem gain muscle, scale and in the long run, the trust of the regulators to hopefully allow for bit more liberalization as markets and consumers mature further. — SG

Clic here to read the story from its source.