RIYADH: Desire for food delivery in the Middle East and North Africa region will continue to grow in 2022 after the pandemic kick-started demand for services in the region, according to a new report.

According to data in “Digital Transformation in the Middle East and North Africa 2022,” produced by cloud payment platform Checkout.com, more than half – 53 percent – ​​of consumers in the Middle East and North Africa region have purchased food online in the past year, With 42 percent of consumers saying they buy food online this year more than in 2021.

The online food ordering sector has many moving parts that must come together in every transaction, from restaurants to drivers and aggregators to payment providers. Therefore, close collaboration is vital for multiple stakeholders, noted Ramzi Al-Quraini, Chief Technology Officer at The Chefz, a leading food delivery app based in Saudi Arabia.

“Collaboration allows us to innovate effectively, reach out to and serve society in its most inclusive sense. These days, a single provider doesn’t need to manage all aspects of the consumer experience from A to Z. We all need to work together,” Al Quraini said.

The results fit with the trend in the region that is increasingly embracing digital technology.

Data from the report shows that 91 percent of consumers in the Middle East and North Africa region had purchased products online in the past year, with fashion and apparel making up 46 percent of all online purchases in the region. A fifth of consumers across the region purchased online retail products more frequently than a year ago, with 33 percent often shopping for fashion and apparel online.

Paul Carey, Executive Vice President, Cards and Payments at Al-Futtaim Group, said the numbers point to a rapidly evolving digital ecosystem that allows government agencies, established businesses and start-ups to thrive.

“This is particularly evident in payments, as governments have created a regulatory sandbox and made it easier for businesses in the region with more flexible visa and business licensing options,” he added.

The survey shows that remittance apps remain the most widely used form of fintech in the MENA region, but as other products increase, so does adoption.

The report found that 82 percent of consumers in the MENA region use some form of fintech application in 2022, up from 76 percent in 2021.

Innovation has been supported by solutions such as Visa Account Funding transactions that withdraw funds from the account and for use on a prepaid card, wallet top-up, or person-to-person money transfer financing.

“The secure, reliable, and speedy movement of digital money between individuals, businesses, and governments is the engine that drives the global economy today,” said Saida Jaffar, Senior Vice President and Group Director for the GCC Region at Visa.

Findings come from the second phase of the Digital Transformation Report in the Middle East and North Africa 2022 released by Checkout.com.

The first part, released in October, featured insights from 15,000 consumers in the region, while the latest edition featured interviews with business leaders in the digital economy.



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