RIYADH: The appetite for food delivery in the Middle East and North Africa region continues to increase in 2022, according to a new report after demand for services in the region began to rise.
According to data from Digital Transformation in MENA 2022, compiled by cloud-based payments platform Checkout.com, more than half — 53 percent — of MENA consumers have purchased groceries online in the past year, with 42 percent of Consumers said they will buy groceries online more often this year than in 2021.
There are many moving parts in the online food ordering space that need to come together in every transaction, from restaurants to drivers and aggregators to payment processors. That’s why close collaboration with multiple stakeholders is crucial, said Ramzi Alkreni, chief technology officer at The Chefz, a leading Saudi food delivery app.
“Collaboration enables us to innovate effectively and to reach out and serve society in its broadest sense. Today, a vendor doesn’t have to manage all aspects of the customer experience from A to Z. We all have to work together. This is the death of property,” Alqraini said.
The results fit with the trend of the sector rapidly embracing digital technology.
Data from the report shows that 91 percent of consumers in MENA bought products online last year, with the fashion and apparel sector accounting for 46 percent of all online purchases. A fifth of consumers in the region were buying retail products online more often than in the previous year, with 33 percent buying fashion and clothing online.
Paul Carey, executive vice president of cards and payments at Al-Futaimim Group, said the numbers indicate a rapidly evolving digital ecosystem that is enabling government agencies, established companies and startups to thrive.
“This is particularly evident in payments, where governments have established a regulatory sandbox infrastructure and made it easier for companies in this sector with more flexible visa options and commercial licenses,” he said.
The survey shows that remittance apps are the most prevalent form of fintech in MENA, but as other products grow, so does adoption.
The report found that 82 percent of consumers in MENA will use some form of fintech app in 2022, up from 76 percent in 2021.
The innovation is underscored by solutions such as Visa’s Account Funding Transactions, which withdraw funds from an account and use them on a prepaid card, top up a wallet, or perform a person-to-person money transfer.
“The secure, reliable and fast movement of digital money between individuals, businesses and governments is the engine that drives today’s global economy,” said Saida Jaafar, senior vice president of the Gulf Cooperation Council region and group country manager at Visa.
Findings are from Phase II of Checkout.com’s Digital Transformation in MENA 2022 report.
Part one, published in October, featured insights from 15,000 consumers in the industry, while the latest release features interviews with digital economy executives.