Whilst we usually think of the US as being the most advanced in many areas relating to commerce and retail, it has lagged behind other markets in digital payment technology. That is changing now, and it is interesting to see the advance of some of the key US players into the MENA region. Many GCC regulators have introduced or are considering new Fintech regulations, including sandboxes, with a refreshed approach to cryptocurrencies which have to date been effectively outlawed in many GCC countries. There are lessons from the development of Fintech in the US for GCC regulators to ensure that businesses and consumers benefit from the advances in technology and services.

Cheap and swift digital payments are a prize that should be viewed as a priority.