The GCC is ready for a surge in the usage of FinTech apps in the course of the COVID-19 international well being disaster as contactless funds within the MEA area enhance by 70 p.c, based on the most recent figures by Mastercard.
The rise in the usage of contactless funds, based on the examine, is pushed by shoppers turning away from bodily choices in the course of the ongoing international COVID-19 outbreak, with start-ups and monetary establishments persevering with to supply providers via digital channels.
Mastercard has additionally revealed that 81 p.c of respondents have confirmed that they may proceed to make use of such fee strategies as soon as the pandemic is over.
J.Ok. Khalil, basic supervisor for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Mastercard, mentioned, “Social distancing is essential proper now, and we commend Bahrain’s authorities and ministry of well being for his or her efforts in maintaining residents and residents protected.
“In addition to staying at dwelling, social distancing additionally applies to publicly shared gadgets, like level of sale terminals and checkout counters.
“The CBB’s resolution to extend card fee limits and its measures to defer installments, in addition to the federal government’s nation-wide marketing campaign to advertise contactless and digital funds, present robust dedication to the native financial system which Mastercard absolutely helps.
“Bahrain is truly adopting contactless technology as part of its response to the pandemic. Contactless offers consumers a safer, cleaner, faster way to pay, as well as control over human-to-human interaction at this critical time.”
The survey additionally revealed that six in 10 shoppers within the area have swapped their ‘top-of’ pockets card for one that provides contactless, with 84 p.c of respondents agreeing that it’s a cleaner solution to pay.
David Parker, Co-Chief Funding Officer for the Monetary Providers sector at Bahrain Financial Growth Board, mentioned the GCC is ready to see a development in the direction of FinTech platforms within the coming months.
“At a time when few customers can access physical services, FinTech platforms across the GCC are experiencing a surge in use – something we anticipate continuing well into the summer months,” mentioned Parker.
“This new analysis from Mastercard exhibits the area’s rising urge for food for brand spanking new applied sciences reminiscent of contactless funds, and that being digital-first is now not non-obligatory. That is one thing that has lengthy been inspired by the Central Bank of Bahrain via initiatives just like the regulatory sandbox, which permits FinTech companies to experiment with new applied sciences in a testbed surroundings.
Parker additional highlighted that the unfold of COVID-19 has offered huge challenges for banks, but it surely additionally highlights the necessity for fast technological transformation and a brand new wave of innovation via collaboration with the thriving FinTech sector.
Bahrain has taken a FinTech-first strategy in tackling the COVID-19 international well being disaster, with nationwide digital pockets BenefitPay saying a 1257 p.c rise within the variety of remittances via its Fawri+ service throughout March 2020 – worth some BHD103 million ($273 million).