Banks in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) are the strongest believers in a cashless society, according to a global retail banking survey released by Temenos, the banking software company. The in-depth survey conducted in 2019 by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of Temenos reveals that six in 10 Middle East and African banking executives think cash will dip below 5% of retail transactions in the next five years, compared to a global average of 48% who think the same. The lockdown measures imposed by governments worldwide in light of the evolving Coronavirus pandemic are also expected to increase the need for and use of digital banking and payment solutions globally.
The EIU report entitled ‘A Whole New World: How technology is driving the evolution of intelligent banking in the Middle East and Africa’ indicates that MEA retail banks are highly conscious of the threats financial exclusion and delaying digitalisation pose to their business models. Respondents acknowledge consumer demands for accessible, hyper-personalised digital banking experiences, ranking changing customer demands as the highest-impact trend by 2020 (35%). A plurality of MEA banking executives – 43% of respondents – identify new technologies, including AI, as the most impactful trend on their sector by 2025.