Boom time for Middle-Eastern payments and transaction processing markets

An article by ACI Worldwide’s EMEA Region general manager, Paul Thomalla, published on has highlighted exciting times ahead for the Middle-Eastern payments, technology and transaction processing markets.  ACI Worldwide is predicting that by 2020 the region’s payments volume will have reached $192.3bn and equate to 20% of the total world volume.  At five times the volume seen in 2010, this level of growth will demand an investment in bank and payment systems which makes the most of the latest technology.

Paul Thomalla’s comments come on the back of a visit to Sibos 2013.  Organised by SWIFT and billed as “the world’s premier financial services event”, Sibos brings together some 7,000 experts from across the financial services industry to debate and shape the future of the financial services industry.  This latest event in Dubai helped to shine the spotlight on the way in which the Middle East’s middle class has grown and is growing and in the process is becoming an increasing consumer of high end and financial services products.  With emerging market trade corridors expected to account for 40% of global trade by 2030 the opportunity for growth is immense.

One strong theme to emerge from Paul Thomalla’s blog was the way in which new and growing financial services companies in the Middle East are perfectly poised to take advantage of growth within the region.  Not having the legacy systems of the more established institutions, new organisations are able to make the most of technology to design systems which meet today’s consumer needs.  However, the author counsels against the danger of creating a multitude of separate, proprietary, non-standardised payment and processing systems; arguing that working together to create standardised and shared platforms will pay off in terms of efficiency and streamlining.

With the core infrastructure in place Paul Thomalla believes that the opportunity is there for the Gulf and wider Middle East Region to rival other international financial hubs.

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