- Published: 28 December 2022
atar has all the right ingredients to become a globally renowned leader in technology and innovation. It boasts world-class, robust infrastructure; a young, tech-savvy generation – the current median age of its population is approximately 33 years; and it is directed by the Qatar National Vision 2030, a blueprint for economic and social development that has digital transformation at its very heart.
The National Vision 2030 was first set out in 2008 and has since weathered financial, geopolitical, and health crises of varying degrees to remain firmly on course and achieve its overarching goals. The government’s framework is diversifying the national economy, empowering the private sector, and completely changing the way the public sector caters to people’s needs.
It helped Qatar to record one of the highest GDP per capita figures in the world – $61,276 – in 2021, which is remarkable given the world was still in recovery mode from the crippling effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The commitment is there from the government. As HE Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed Al Mannai, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said earlier this year at the opening ceremony of Smart City Expo Doha 2022, they will “work to ensure accelerating digital transformation, achieving a knowledge-based economy, and transitioning towards smart cities with the aim of improving the quality of life in Qatar in various sectors.”
As a forward-looking nation, Qatar has the state-of-the-art technology and robust IT infrastructure to listen and swiftly respond to the needs of its citizens and residents. It has also proved its digital readiness and logistical expertise in hosting international sporting events, accompanied by a massive influx of visitors. All digital wallets, including Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay, are now live in the country, and account for more than 10 percent of all transactions. And Qatar’s people have shown an appetite to embrace this digital transformation.
Among the digitally aware population, omnichannel payments are on the rise. As an example, because of its fast, secure, and touch-free experience, contactless technology was the digital catalyst for the proliferation of new payment methods. This innovative way to pay helps customers avoid handing their payment card to someone else, touching physical buttons, or exchanging cash.
More than 100 markets saw the share of contactless among total in-person transactions climb by at least 50 percent between the first quarter of 2020 and the same period in 2021. Contactless proved its vitality a year into the Covid-19 pandemic — Mastercard saw one billion more contactless transactions worldwide in the first quarter of 2021 than in the same period of 2020. All signs point to contactless continuing to follow the upward trend.
According to Mastercard’s New Payments Index 2022, 85 percent of people in MENA have used at least one emerging payment method in the last year, including tappable smartphone mobile wallets, BNPL, biometrics, and payment-enabled wearable tech devices. This is an indication of how the Qatari population is embracing new technologies and that consumer interest in new payment methods is here to stay.
Companies large and small would be well-advised to adopt state-of-the-art payment solutions if they want to succeed in today’s marketplace. In this context, Mastercard has partnered with several banks to launch Tap on Phone for micro and small businesses. This technology allows businesses to accept payments for their products or services through a smartphone.
Having the government’s support and encouragement through its National Vision 2030 will further drive companies in the public and private sectors to accelerate their efforts in this space.
Through close collaboration with governments, fintech companies, and financial institutions, we are shaping the Qatari digital economy so it can be more inclusive, more competitive, more convenient, and well-positioned for continued growth. Innovation and co-creation with bold, like-minded, and engaged partners adds value and expands the variety of choices on offer.
As more businesses and people tap into the opportunities technology and digitalisation present, the future becomes brighter. Together, we are creating a vibrant ecosystem that can fuel economic prosperity and steady improvement in livelihoods.
Quelle/Source: Arabian Business, 20.12.2022