UAE. Prepaid cards have found their niche in the Middle East as the region’s population embraces a digital and mobile lifestyle, according to Francesco Burelli, Partner at Value Partners Management Consulting.
Burelli, considered a global expert on cards, payments and transaction technologies, is slated to present an exclusive research on mobile money at the upcoming Prepaid Summit 2012.
He observed that strong year-on-year growth in the mobile money industry has global revenues pegged at USD1.6bn in 2011 alone.
“Looking at the Middle East, the mobile money sector, which includes mobile banking, is developing rapidly. Our forecast is that the trend will continue at an average growth of 88 per cent between 2009 and 2013,” he said.
“The nineties saw the mobile phone turn from a luxury to a mass market proposition and this has enabled the launch of additional mobile services, including financial services. Today, mobile is a mainstream distribution and business channel in the financial services landscape.”
He also noted that the Middle East region hosts a large unbanked population made up of immigrant workers and young citizens, suggesting that these two groups have different needs of the services that can be provided through mobile and prepaid technologies.
Meanwhile, James Ratcliff, Editor, Cards International and spokesperson for the Prepaid Summit in Dubai said: “With almost 65 per cent of the population under 25, the Middle East has massive potential in youth-led prepaid services, particularly in areas like online spending, events, and gift cards.”
According to Ratcliff, strong growth is also expected across travel, general purpose, remittance, payroll, and government payments sectors.
The third edition of Prepaid Summit: Middle East returns to Dubai on March 21 with Visa International on-board for the third time in a row as the Summit’s Title Sponsor.
The one day event will see more than 200 industry experts, speakers, delegates, and market analysts come together to identify steps to create revenue models and build successful prepaid products in region.
Prepaid Summit: Middle East 2012
Conference, Expo and Awards Networking Dinner, March 21 2012 at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai
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