Gen Z Spearheading Payment Innovation In The Middle East
According to new data, Gen Z’s adoption of new payment technology is driving widespread growth across the MENA region.
As Gen Z begins to make its presence felt in economies worldwide, the technological proficiency of the demographic is driving innovation in the digital space. In the Middle East — and the UAE especially — research shows a sharp drop in cash purchases as digital payments and their associated technology become commonplace.
According to data from Amazon Payment Services, a digital payment revolution is taking place in the UAE, with contactless and app-based transactions rising at a compound annual growth rate of 18.3% between 2021 to 2023.
“About 61% of Gen Z in the UAE have digital wallets, which indicates that they are adopting new ways of payments and technology. On the other hand, millennials have access to disposable income. Many of them are entrepreneurs and are not only users of digital payments from a consumer perspective but also a business perspective. This combination is the unbeatable match in the region,” says Peter George, Managing Director of Amazon Payment Services.
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According to George, travel, hospitality, and airlines have seen the most significant changes in payment preferences. By 2023, however, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt’s digital payment sectors are expected to double in size across the board. High rates of internet use, a fintech boom, and a comparatively young population are driving the digital payment sector, eventually leading to a trickle-down effect allowing small businesses to flourish.
NEOM Airlines Is Saudi Arabia’s New, Tech-Centric Carrier
The airline will embrace advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, and utilize high-tech propulsion systems by 2026.
Opening in 2025, NEOM is a $500 billion Saudi Arabian smart city that will be powered entirely by renewable energy. Now, Saudi authorities have announced that the futuristic metropolis will also be served by its own dedicated carrier — NEOM Airlines.
The service will begin operating in 2024 and embrace advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence and biometric check in. Aircraft will fly to and from NEOM Bay before moving to the soon-to-be-built NEOM International Airport.
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NEOM Airlines will focus on tourist, commercial, and residential travel and incorporate plenty of cutting-edge technology. Klaus Goersch, the airline’s CEO, revealed that existing aircraft will be retrofitted with existing technology on launch, but by 2026, an ultra-modern fleet will be in operation, “whether electric, hydrogen-powered, or supersonic”.
As well as modern, low-emissions power airplanes, NEOM aircraft will also be fitted with sleek, modern interiors, 6G Wi-Fi, large screens for every seat, plus gaming and chat technology.