The Middle East as a region has a population of more than 190 million people and a combined GDP of over $1.6 trillion. Its aggregate economy is larger than Russia or Brazil and has impressive growth prospects. In the main, the region has a developing yet fragmented payments ecosystem, with high cash and cheque volumes coupled with rapid growth in card transactions.
Culturally the Middle East has a strong reputation for innovation, particularly with closed loop payments services and has a high penetration of smartphones. There is an opportunity to increase the scope and efficiency of clearing and settlement infrastructures and increase access to these infrastructures.
The benefits will be a reduction in costs of doing business in the region and convenient access to payment systems for consumers, businesses and government.
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