Digital Payments
Middle East & Africa Paytech Trending

Tap Payments and Al-Futtaim Group Sign Deal to Match MENA Digital Payments Growth

Tap Payments and Al-Futtaim Group sign a deal to power online payments for their brands across the Middle East.

Ahmed Alaradi, group EVP of business, and Jamie Verheij, director of merchant acceptance, Tap Payments signed a milestone agreement with Himanshu Shrivastava, chief technology officer and Paul Carey, EVP cards and payments, from Al-Futtaim Group to support the growth for Al-Futtaim’s brands online across the GCC and the growth of digital payments.

Key brands that will be powered by this partnership include B&Q, Watsons and Al-Futtaim’s signature lifestyle rewards platform, Blue Rewards.

Tap Payments has helped secure billions of transactions for customers worldwide. It currently supports over 100,000 businesses of all sizes, including many household names. Reasons for this include inadequate digital payment infrastructure and services. Additionally, unbanked customers and merchant groups, and a cultural preference for cash, also impact it. Only around a third of retail payment transactions are made online.

However, new legislative and regulatory initiatives as well as new local, regional, and international payment providers are driving change. The covid-19 pandemic has sparked an increase in digital use and a shift away from cash. By offering cutting-edge, tech-driven payment systems that adhere to international payment industry standards, Tap Payments offers businesses and customers in the MENA region an easy, quick, and secure online payment experience.

Speaking about the partnership, Ahmed Alaradi comments:

“It is an honour and an incredible achievement for Tap Payments to support the Al-Futtaim Group, a company that provides some of the world’s most-loved brands to its customers across the region, with its payment services. We look forward to expanding this relationship across MENA and beyond.”

Connecting the disconnected

Tap Payments connected the disconnected payment landscape across the MENA region by developing a single and unified integration for all payment methods that are highly adopted by consumers in the region.

With a single integration, Tap’s payment gateway goSell enables businesses to offer local payment methods that are popular. These include mada, Knet, Benefit, Fawry; international payment methods such as Visa, Mastercard, Amex; and even alternative payment methods like BNPL, Apple Pay, or STC Pay.

The rise of digital payments, customers’ preferences are also showing a move away from cash. McKinsey‘s consumer survey showed MEA customers were highly in favour of digital payment options, with only 10 per cent strongly favouring cash.

In terms of volume, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are home to two of the world’s three busiest remittance corridors, making cross-border payments essential to the MENA region’s financial ecosystem (KSA). In 2020, the UAE and KSA each processed $78billion in cross-border payments. This was as a result of the region’s large population of expats.

Himanshu Shrivastava, chief technology officer at Al-Futtaim added: “Driven by our customer-centric approach, we continuously seek out best in class technology solutions to support our brands’ expansion objectives and ensure the best possible shopping experience for our customers. We’re excited to work with Tap Payments to deliver seamless payment experiences for our customers so they can pay for purchases quickly and conveniently.”

Author

  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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