Our top five takeaways from the event...
For 22 years Seamless Middle East has been informing regional leaders and providers. A lot has happened in this time - from e-commerce and Omni-services to contactless and even crypto.
At Castles we’ve been an active part of this transformation, helping to deliver the modern mobile and contactless acceptance devices that are helping to empower merchants and their customers throughout the region.
Here are five things we took away from the event:
1. With over 10,000 attendees and 350+ of the biggest brands, this year’s event was a testament to the thriving payments community that exists in the region.
It’s clear from the event mix that there are now many exciting start-ups driving innovation in the region. There’s lots of existing and emerging talent focused on helping banks and businesses use technology to create seamless experiences for organisations, brands, and consumers.
2. The UEA is driving innovation and growth in the region thanks to the support of the government and the readiness of its citizens
The event was inaugurated by His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League who announced the release of the Arab Digital Economy Index Report. For the third year in a row, the UAE topped the Index. This was reinforced by recent figures that show that between 2019 and 2022, the UAE was one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the MEASA region with a growth rate of 38.3%.
3. We saw some clear themes emerging but the overriding one was how to better enable financial inclusion and literacy in the region.
All sectors - payments, banking, and fintech – were very much focused on how to best meet customer needs while keeping services secure and delivering new experiences and greater accessibility. For many the secret lies in closer collaboration, partnering and building broader ecosystems, and providing better infrastructure for people to be able to pay, how and when they want – something that we at Castles are 100% committed to.
4. Regulation has a large part to play in accelerating transformation
There were lots of discussions around how best to legislate the current and future market – especially around digital and customer data. It is increasingly important that future regulation is shaped to enhance a competitive, secure environment that also supports thriving innovation – by banks, fintech, and payments providers.
5. In terms of payments, most discussions centered around smart cards, ID, and new payments technologies like digital and mobile wallets
There was also a strong focus on augmenting retail growth opportunities through digital transformation.
At Castles, our portfolio of devices supports these key themes.
It’s our aim to enhance empowerment, inclusion, compliance, and digital and mobile innovation throughout the ME region. For instance, our UPT1000 unattended payment terminal, which was particularly popular at the show, is fully compatible with MDB protocol, allows for MSR, ICC, and contactless card acceptance, and is PCI 5. x, EMV L1 L2 certified. It’s the perfect solution for seamless self-checkout payment. Meanwhile, our android based SATURN range POS terminal series are all now available in the region. These all open the door to more flexible acceptance and easy to integrate and launch value-added services that help ME, merchants, and more easily deliver seamless omnichannel and hybrid services in-store. And last but not least, payment solutions such as CasHUB and SoftPOS showed great interest to our visitors looking for more effective, tech-driven payment solutions and enhanced in-store experiences.