DUBAI: The UAE is now leading the MENA region with an impressive 16.4 percent in digital penetration, according to a detailed report by Al Masah Capital Limited titled, "Digital Banking - ME Trends".
"Digitisation continues to take the global economies by storm. As a revolution whose uptake in the Middle East and North Africa has gathered noticeable momentum, the digitisation of core financial and banking processes can no longer be termed as a passing phase," said the report.
The UAE is followed closely by its neighbors: Bahrain with 13.6% and Saudi Arabia with 11.5%, it added. "In order to remain competitive, swift response to the evolving consumer needs is paramount as more and more customers are now expecting their respective banks to be at the forefront of effective and efficient technological transformations."
The MENA region offers compelling and promising opportunities for the banks and other financial institutions, with UAE and Saudi Arabia emerging as two of the most active markets in the development of a digital ecosystem.
Collectively, the MENA region, with 4.1%, seems to be closing the digital gap with North America with 8% and Europe with 6.2%, as players in the Gulf region continue to make meaningful investments in telecom infrastructure, digital readiness initiatives, and competitive arrangements for network providers.
According to Al Masah Capital, the MENA region enjoys a large millennial population, which is expected to further drive the future of digital banking industry. With cost reduction through digitisation as the main focus for regional banks, major players are now creating ecosystems that will ultimately offer customers multiple interaction-points such as the branch, ATM, online presence (e-banking) and mobile banking apps.
Al Masah Capital Limited report reveals that the MENA region banking and financial sector is undergoing a significant digital transformation in order to keep their customers engaged with next-generation services and offering.
"The Middle East, being no exception to the global trend, is now on the verge of a massive digital disruption. Businesses and governments are now alive to the fact that in order to optimise operating costs and resources, guarantee customer satisfaction, attract new customers, and gain competitive advantage, digital adoption is a must." said Shailesh Dash, chief executive officer of Al Masah Capital.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2018.