Dubai Economy held a new workshop, as part of the “Future Economy Lab” series, in which it brought together stakeholders, experts and specialists in the ecosystem of the cashless economy, in line with its efforts to address the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to design the best approaches and methods that would improve Among the opportunities presented by the new normal in the post-pandemic period.
Globally, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a major accelerator for both digital communication and digital commerce, which in turn has led to faster adoption of cashless payments, along with a shift to digital payment channels and services.
The workshop shed light on accelerating the growth of the cashless economy, and improving financial inclusion to boost digital payments in the UAE. Participants in the workshop reviewed the challenge, “How can Dubai seize the opportunity to become among the top 10 cashless economies over the next three years?”
Euromonitor International statistics indicate that 60% of the total payment transactions for consumers in the United Arab Emirates during the year 2019 were cashless payments, placing the UAE in the 20th place globally in this field.
Cashless payments in the UAE are expected to reach 73% by 2025, based on the current baseline scenario.
The “Visa” study on cashless cities also revealed that Dubai could benefit from the stimulating effects and economic growth from today until 2032, as well as the time saved by consumers and companies that use digital payments more.
The study predicts that more than 8 billion dirhams ($ 2.2 billion) of direct annual net benefits to consumers, businesses and governments will be from cashless payments. The estimated gains for consumers will be 0.2 billion dollars, while companies will get one and a half billion dollars, while governments will get half a billion dollars, when a city enters “achievable horizons of cashless transactions,” which is intended to direct all city residents to use payments Digital at a rate equal to the usage rate of 10% of the most users in that city today.
The Visa study also showed an improvement of 1.1% in current employment and a wage growth rate of 0.05%, along with a GDP growth of 10.8 points, as part of the long-term gains expected by 2032.
Speakers at the workshop pointed out that the global acceleration in digital payments calls on the UAE to take advantage of its digital readiness to enhance the digital payments scene. According to the Euromonitor International Digital Connectivity Index, the UAE ranks first in the world, which would put the country in a strong position to become one of the world’s leading cashless societies, joining Denmark, Sweden and South Korea.
The advanced level of mobile phone connectivity in the UAE is one of the most important advantages, as the mobile phone is ranked as the best online and offline payment channel, in addition to being a factor in enabling financial inclusion.
“Digital payments have gained more importance during this epidemic phase. The industries and societies that adopt cashless payment have renewed, faster, the urgent need for the government to work with all stakeholders, to implement the system,” said Mohammed Sha`il Al Saadi, CEO of the Corporate Strategic Affairs Sector at Dubai Economy. “Comprehensive and effective digital payment that will create new economic value. The aim of the workshop was to participate in creating new initiatives to meet the vision of the UAE, to be one of the top 10 economies for cashless payment.”
The workshop, held in cooperation with Frost & Sullivan, attracted 60 participants, including banking experts, fintech companies, payment network and system providers, other financial institutions, as well as government agencies and academia.
The main objectives of the workshop were to identify challenges and opportunities, within the financial ecosystem, which Dubai can develop to achieve maximum impact, and to identify how key industry stakeholders can capitalize on the momentum in the cashless economy and expand their digital payment solution offerings, in addition to To collaborate to develop and prioritize initiatives that can support Dubai’s transformation towards a cashless society.
For his part, Osama Al Rahma, CEO of Al Fardan Exchange, said: “The Dubai economy plays a strategic role, as one of the main engines towards the cashless economy. As a member of the remittance companies community, I see and notice that goals and dreams are being realized. From adopting changing business models towards digital transformation in the payment sector. This would address the new behavior of dealers and their changing requirements. ”
It also included some of the challenges that need to be adopted and highlighted, the limited access to digital products and services, the lack of digital infrastructure and the financial technology ecosystem required to develop the cashless economy, the cultural link to cash, and the entitlement to pay for willingness to innovate to drive future payments.
The initiatives discussed during the workshop included establishing incubators for emerging companies in the financial technology field, developing local payment gateways, providing financial education to those who do not deal with banks, and increasing confidence in cashless payments through cybersecurity solutions.
In this context, Dr. stated. Tamer Al-Touni, Vice President of Digital Devices and Services at Etisalat Group, Chief Commercial Officer of the Digital Financial Services Company, said: “Thanks to the vision of the UAE leadership, the country has the highest penetration rate of digital technologies in the region and the world. The digital future to enable societies compatible with the digital goals of the government, to one of the most advanced infrastructures in the world, this was a great opportunity to participate in the ‘cashless economy workshop’ organized by Dubai Economy, which brought together sector leaders to discuss how to make the UAE one of the best Countries in digital payment by 2023. This platform highlighted interoperability and the need for new business models to achieve financial inclusion in a cashless environment. ”
Vibor Mendhada, Senior Vice President / Business Manager – Acquisition and Strategic Alliance at Mashreq Bank said: “It was an honor to be part of the exciting ‘Cashless Economy’ workshop organized by Dubai Economy. The workshop was well organized with representation from all the major stakeholders. Including banks, telecom service providers, and payment companies, as well as modern technology companies and consultants.The workshop witnessed relevant and interesting detailed discussions and discussions, which led to the introduction of many ideas and topics.The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital payments, and we are in Mashreq Bank is fully committed to partnering with the Dubai economy, in shaping a cashless future for the country as a whole. ”
It is noteworthy that Dubai Economy launched the Future Economy Lab as a strategic initiative to deal with private sector entities, regulatory bodies and academia, and to explore future economic opportunities.
The workshops are now part of the Covid-19 initiative, which aims to develop an exit roadmap for COVID-19 and identify new opportunities to shape the future of current and emerging sectors by 2030.
Upcoming workshops in the series cover topics such as the future of healthcare, real estate, agricultural technology and food services, manufacturing, and educational technology.
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