Enhancing user experience is key to success

Fernando Pacheco – senior vice president, head of cash management products, global transaction banking Mashreq

Mashreq helps clients identify digital banking trends and adapt to regulatory changes

Key Takeaways

  • Digital payment options are on the rise in the UAE
  • Embracing digital payments, in lieu of cash and cheques, will significantly transform business operations and consumer behaviours
  • Businesses must strive to stay informed about trends, allocate time for discussions and brainstorming, and engage in continuous learning
  • Companies must consider leveraging the UAE’s digital transformation initiatives, legal framework, and regulatory policies, to support necessary changes in business practices.

How can businesses capitalise on digital payments to thrive in the UAE’s evolving financial landscape?
Innovation and customer demand are driving more reliable and convenient options to manage transactions. The emergence and adoption of solutions such as instant payments, direct debits and embedded finance are redefining how commerce is being done.
While the former offers immediate settlement of transactions, the latter –enabled by API connectivity – allows transfer of real-time data, seamlessly integrating financial services into non-financial platforms.
Additionally, embedding payments into economic activities are largely creating ‘invisible’ payment experiences, many successfully adopted across local businesses, such as Noon and Careem, thus making transactions effortless. Furthermore, advanced treasury practices and regional treasury functions are helping to address cash management issues, offer support to international operations and focus on the need for sophisticated financial solutions.

What strategies should companies adopt to align with the UAE’s vision of becoming a global financial hub?
To align with the UAE’s vision of becoming a global financial hub, companies must consider expanding their regional and global presence, leveraging the UAE’s robust legal framework, governance structure and regulatory policies as a base to achieve this from.
By establishing locally based treasury centres, centres of excellence, innovation hubs, and regional headquarters in the UAE, companies can access experienced talent and promote the UAE as a prime location for conducting business.
Furthermore, investing in public-private partnerships and/or leveraging solutions from the growing local tech ecosystem, can further contribute to the UAE’s growth as a financial hub.

How can companies anticipate and adapt to potential shifts in international financial dynamics?
Companies must be well-informed about the dynamic regulatory landscapes and evolving financial ecosystem. Embracing digital payments and new initiatives will significantly transform business operations and consumer demands.
At Mashreq, we help clients monitor and identify these trends, understand relevant regulatory changes and adapt accordingly. Rapid adaptation is essential for gaining a competitive advantage, allowing for early market share capture and enhanced client experiences.
Additionally, scenario planning for geopolitical risks, cross-border restrictions and financial regulations is vital. Agile decision-making, real-time testing and quick iteration are crucial for staying ahead.

What key measures should businesses take to ensure they remain agile and competitive in an increasingly dynamic global marketplace?

Businesses must stay informed about trends, allocate time for discussions and brainstorming and engage in continuous learning within their ecosystem.

Effective engagement must involve participation from government agencies, banks, financial technology specialists, international organisations and relevant industry bodies. In the UAE, this collaborative environment is well-supported by active dialogue and effective regulatory mechanisms. Companies should participate in consultations, learn from global practices and adapt them locally to accelerate the adoption of new initiatives.

Leveraging these opportunities with the help of partners like Mashreq, with our long history in the Middle East region, growing international network, and digital first business model, ensures you have a strategic partner by your side to support your business transformation and growth.

10 June, 2024 | .By MRUDVI BAKSHI