Fintech Middle East & Africa Trending

British Fintech Company Rolls Out Operations in the Middle East as Figures Show Growth

The British-based payment technology solutions provider, Paymentology, is working closely with banks and financial institutions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Middle East to roll out the next-generation digital payments solutions that will change the way consumers make payments through cards, cash and mobile phones as real-time digital payment transactions is set to jump faster than other formats due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paymentology is one of the first British Fintech companies to enter the Middle East markets with full-fledged operations at the DIFC.

Launched in 2015 and with accreditations to operate globally, Paymentology has been chosen by banks such as Revolut and Standard Chartered’s Mox Bank to support their ground-breaking and highly customer-centric payment programmes.

E-commerce sales revenue in the Middle East and North Africa region is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9 per cent between 2016 to 2021 to reach US$48.8 billion in 2021, according to Deloitte, the global accounting firm.

The UAE is expected to lead the market, followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. These countries are expected to jointly account for more than 50 per cent of the forecast revenue in 2021.

The region’s current internet penetration rate is 60 per cent, well above the global average of 51.7 per cent. Currently, only 15 per cent of businesses in the Middle East have an online presence and almost 90 per cent of the online purchases in the region are shipped from abroad, according to technology research company Gartner.

According to Forbes Middle East and Marmore MENA Intelligence, online sales in the Middle East are estimated to account for only 2 per cent of the overall retail sales, much lower than the 15 per cent in developed markets: thus confirming the huge untapped potential for e-commerce players.

A representative from Deloitte said: “The regional retail market is on the verge of a digital disruption, with industry players undergoing a structural shift from traditional in-store concept to online channel through the adoption of digital technologies.”

The global digital payments market is expected to grow from $3.88 trillion in 2019 to about $5.43 trillion in 2020, according to a report by Research and Markets, a global online market intelligence provider. However, this is only a fraction of the amount of money that changes hands through contactless payment channels, such as credit and debit cards, online payments, mobile payments and other digital channels.

Global non-cash transactions surged nearly 14 per cent from 2018–2019 to reach 708.5 billion transactions, the highest growth rate recorded in the past decade, according to the World Payments Report 2020 by Capgemini Research Institute.

Paymentology’s entry in the Middle East market comes at a time when demand for contactless and non-cash transactions has soared after the COVID-19, prompting businesses and financial institutions to shift towards the digital and smart payment solutions. 

Shane O’Hara, CEO of Paymentology, said: “Consumers will switch to payment technology that offers them the best customer experience, safety, security and peace of mind. 

“Our cloud-native proprietary technology is ahead of its time. As the Middle Eastern banks seek more advanced technology for their customers, we are more than ready to offer them the best.”


  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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