Payment innovation is happening outside the US just like GSM cellular tech, says Ziad Alshobaki one of the top ME payment experts

Topic: How is Middle East different from US or Europe when it comes to payments and commerce?

Response: What might appear like an easy case for success of mobile payments in MENA is not the case.

In some studies it was found out that Saudi & UAE has the highest penetration of smartphones in the world. But only 5% of them use it for business / Banking applications. Use of smartphones is really extensive in UAE but people are using smartphones for purposes other than banking. Only corporate people use it widely during work related things, for email, browsing, etc. Others just use it for entertainment social media and games. This is an important aspect to understand the market.

Also you have to keep in mind that MENA is very cash based society. In day-to-day scenario, most of the transactions we see happen in cash. Since cash is the source of fund. People also want to see and feel the payment instrument during tran ...

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