The current state of digital transformation in the Middle East

The objective is for economies to always be flourishing. With evolving technologies, times, and tastes, businesses can realise this goal. We are witnessing a digital revolution unravel in the Middle East in real time. Disruptive concepts such as IoT, AI/ML, cloud computing, and big data are taking over the region as Industry 4.0 redefines expectations.

Critical initiatives by the Saudi Arabian government to advance the region’s digital economy had significantly increased since 2020, when the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology was formed. In 2022, Saudi Arabia announced a new research, development, and innovation (RDI) plan to finance shifts in several industries, aiming to increase the ‘RDI’s contribution to GDP to 60 billion riyals, or $16 billion. Abu Dhabi, in the meantime, declared plans to invest AED 10 billion ($2.72 billion) to boost the size of several industries by 2031.

While the region incessantly tries to accelerate digital transformation using Industry 4.0, it is also banking on many megatrends to shape its future. From AI/ML to venturing into the Metaverse, the end of digital commerce is happening now!

The role of banking in advancing ME’s digital commerce

According to’s third annual report 4 out of 10 UAE customers made weekly or more regular purchases online in 2022 across different digital platforms. Furthermore, with 80% of consumers saying they intend to continue or enhance their current level of eCommerce spending until 2023 by increasing their usage of e-wallets, the UAE’s eCommerce sector is predicted to grow even more over the following 12 months.

This creates a massive opportunity for regional financial institutions to leverage this and adapt transformational technologies to meet growing expectations. However, the question remains, how can banks adapt transformational technologies in the Middle East to advance the region’s digital commerce?

In recent years, the Middle East witnessed a flourishing start-up and innovation culture that has made it imperative for banks to devise and implement a new digital strategy to meet the different demands of the new gen banking customers. Banks will have to accept defeat and perish if they don’t address their nebulous digital strategy, outdated infrastructure, competition from emerging, inventive fintech players, and their lack of smart solutions. Avoiding this worst-case scenario starts with adapting transformational technologies such as AI and big data and doing away with ambiguous digital plans and legacy systems.

Ensuring customer satisfaction is essentially the goal of adapting transformational digital technologies; with that, banks provide convenience and ease of usage. By leveraging the right solutions available, banks can offer interfaces as user-friendly as those of Netflix or Amazon while incorporating essential features such as digital wallets and intelligent chatbots. Banks can also provide an omnichannel experience across channels, allowing customers to access services anytime and anywhere. Additionally, banks should be able to offer a comprehensive range of banking services on all platforms, especially mobile, to meet customers’ needs.

A recent study conducted by IBS Intelligence reveals that due to AI’s high availability and adaptation in the Middle East, customers are expecting self-service options that are open banking enabled and real-time access to services. Transformational technologies, including voice recognition, natural language processing, and generation, have become hygiene features that customers now expect banks to offer rather than being perceived as premium features.

How Clayfin can help with smart transformational solutions

Globally, customers now expect banking products and services to be closely aligned with their needs. Consequently, banks are expected to take a proactive approach to identifying and fulfilling key customer needs, which is becoming the norm, especially in the Middle East.

In the upcoming Seamless event on the 23rd-24th of May in Dubai, innovators, leaders, and bankers from across the globe will gather under one roof to discuss how to advance the Middle East’s digital commerce.

The Clayfin team will participate as an exhibitor and is thrilled to showcase our unique, product-based solutions. Offering Retail Banking, Corporate/SME Banking, and PFM solutions, we are here to disrupt with transformational digital banking solutions truly.

We offer dependable digital banking solutions that are both user-friendly and seamless. We create tailor-made experiences across channels and devices and help increase your digital footprint, adoption rates, and usage. Our digital banking solutions cater to the needs of retail banking customers by providing them with hyper-personalised and immersive experiences. Customers can access their accounts instantly through any channel, including web, mobile, wearables, or API. We provide integrated, omnichannel banking solutions for corporate customers that offer access to finances anytime and anywhere. Our PFM tool utilises intelligent analytics to learn about customer patterns, behaviour, spending habits, and more, helping maintain their financial well-being.

Avail the benefits of partnering with a product-based solution provider, reach out to Clayfin today.

Rafeeque M Ali

Over 19 years (15 years + in ME & North Africa) of experience in Sales/Business Development & Account Management of IT solutions - BFSI Domain. A Digital Banking Sales Specialist with excellent knowledge in the areas of Retail, SME & Corporate - Omni Channel (Internet, Mobile & Wearable Banking), Digital Onboarding, API Banking, Chatbot, Lifestyle/Social Banking, PFM, Analytics, Liquidity, Cash Management, Supply Chain, eRemittance & Insurance Solutions

Contact Us