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62% of Saudi Arabia’s 2021 Transactions Were Cashless, Amazon Reveals

Amazon Payment Services has shared insight into the future of the payments industry at Seamless Saudi Arabia 2022.

The digital payments provider in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) gave a presentation on the evolution of cashless payments in Saudi Arabia. The presentation “Reimagining Payments for Today’s Saudi Consumer” was led by Mona Alsemayen, country head for strategy and growth in Saudi Arabia for Amazon Payment Services.

Mona Alsemayen, Amazon on cashless advancement
Mona Alsemayen, country head for strategy and growth in Saudi Arabia Amazon Payment Services

Alsemayen explained how Saudi Arabia’s strong infrastructure for the digital economy has a global catalyst for growth. The presentation also focused on the role played by ‘Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030’. The ‘Vision’ set out in Saudi Arabia is a transformative economic and social reform blueprint. It aims to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy and develop its public service sectors by 2030.

Overall, the presentation highlighted how cashless payments had overtaken cash for the first time in 2021. Cashless payments were shown to represent 62 per cent of transactions across all sectors.

Looking at the progress of Saudi Arabia, Mona Alsemayen said: “As a result of government initiatives and industry trends, Saudi Arabia has shown a rapid evolution of digital payment and lending methods over the past few years, making the country a hotspot for fintech players and banks that are open for development and cooperation.

“Today’s Saudi consumer wants choice, convenience, speed and security, but above all, they want a smooth, seamless payments experience that mirrors their day-to-day online interactions. Keeping the customer at the core of our focus and working backwards to address their needs, Amazon Payment Services is partnering with the government, merchants and the financial sector to advance the payments experience in Saudi Arabia.”

Showcasing Saudi solutions
Mohamed Imtiyaz, head of business development at Amazon Payment Services cashless
Mohamed Imtiyaz, head of business development at Amazon Payment Services

Mohamed Imtiyaz, head of business development at Amazon Payment Services also participated in a keynote panel at the event. The panel titled “Pioneering the next generation of online retail with a ‘one-stop shop’ marketplace” saw Imtiyaz explain the future of the digital marketplace. He explained how the digital marketplace of tomorrow is an interconnected landscape where different payment methods merge and overlap, helping to establish a seamless and fully embedded use case for all stakeholders.

Continuing, Imtiyaz said: “Online marketplaces are increasingly looking for payment service providers which provide a seamless payment infrastructure in addition to offering added value by increasing checkout conversion with a wider choice of affordable payment options like BNPL and instalments.”

Another solution Amazon Payment Services displayed at Seamless Saudi Arabia 2022 was ‘Installments’. It showcased the solution, which breaks down large purchases into easy monthly payments. Amazon suggested that the solution would increase sales by around 10 to 15 per cent across average basket sizes. It also announced an improvement of solutions such as ‘PrivateLink’. The security product aims to improve the payment experience and success rate and reduce data egress costs for merchants.

Amazon Payments Services was featured at the event as a platinum sponsor. The sponsorship was in line with the company’s commitment to engaging and growing the fintech industry in the country.

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