Saudi Telecom Company (STC), the largest mobile network operator in Saudi Arabia, has recently announced a partnership with Irish company Cubic Telecom, a leading enabler of automotive connectivity. Together, the two companies will develop in-car services for Saudi drivers, making the country’s vision of a connected future a step closer to reality.
“Partnering with Cubic enables STC as a digital enabler to simplify the delivery and management of advanced in-car services and gives us a foundation for innovating and meeting the changing needs of customers as new services evolve,” commented Dr. Sultan bin Saeed, VP of Business Development at STC.
The suite of tools provided by Cubic, called Connected Car, includes a solution that makes it possible for drivers to remotely monitor and control their vehicles via a smartphone app. It also includes an emergency calling system capable of automatically notifying emergency services in the event of a car crash.
Currently, Cubic’s in-car connectivity solution can be found in more than five million vehicles across 100 countries. The solution is embedded into vehicles at the manufacturing stage, and it gives car manufacturers the ability to collect data on cars’ performance and issue remote software updates.
“Cubic’s connected software is driving performance for carmakers and providing in-car services in key markets. We are delighted to be working with STC to help car manufacturers activate new opportunities in a very significant market,” said Barry Napier, CEO of Cubic Telecom.
Saudi Arabia has been making significant investments to improve its telecommunications infrastructure and prepare it for the era of the Internet of Things, enabled by 5G connectivity.
In the future, connected cars are expected to be part of a larger ecosystem consisting, among other things, of smart road infrastructure, such as intelligent traffic lights that are aware of real-time traffic conditions and are able to communicate with self-driving vehicles to help them safely reach their destinations.
Stripe Enters The Middle East With Its UAE Launch
Stripe will initially only be available to UAE businesses, allowing them to accept online payments, make payouts, mitigate fraud, and attract customers from around the world.
Stripe, a provider of online payment processing for internet business, has finally expanded to the Middle East with its official launch in the United Arab Emirates. The Irish-American company also opened an office in Dubai Internet City, allowing it to be closer to its new customer base.
At first, Stripe will only be available to UAE businesses, allowing them to accept online payments, make payouts, mitigate fraud, and attract customers from around the world.
“The UAE is a thriving hub for technology, supported by strong investor appetite, internet-savvy consumers, and an open, innovative ecosystem of business leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Matt Henderson, EMEA Business Lead at Stripe. “Our launch today also means we can now connect our global user base to the Gulf, enabling them to seamlessly expand their operations in the region.”
Stripe’s entry into the Middle East market comes just weeks after its latest round of funding, which has resulted in the company’s value jumping up to $95 billion and making it one of the most valuable fintech companies in the world.
The UAE is the perfect entry point for the online payment processing provider because the total value of digital payment transactions in the gulf country has doubled in the last two years alone, reaching $18.5 billion in 2020. If the UAE remains on the current growth trajectory, its e-commerce sector is expected to add nearly another $10 billion over the next two years.
Another factor that makes the UAE such an ideal expansion point is the fact that accepting online payments in the country has historically been incredibly challenging. Stripe provides a straightforward setup process and developer-friendly APIs, making it easy for companies of all sizes to improve their online presence.
Last year, Stripe launched in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta. The company also expanded into Africa via Nigeria technology startup Paystack. In total, Stripe currently processes hundreds of billions of dollars each year.