Web3 marketers are focusing on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions as the digital payments trend surges. The growing crypto infrastructure and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) emergence also play a role in this strategic shift.
This strategic shift presents vast opportunities for innovative solutions and customer engagement in a region experiencing a transformation in consumer behavior and financial inclusion.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this shift. It drove people towards online shopping and digital transactions worldwide.
Established and emerging businesses have adapted to the virtual landscape to meet the increasing demand. This transformation resulted in a substantial shift from traditional commerce to online platforms.
The MENA region has experienced an apparent change in consumer behavior. Cash usage has decreased from 26 percent in 2019 to 16 percent in 2022. This decline highlights digital payments’ growing popularity.
The rise of “super-apps” in the region also indicates consumers’ preference for all-in-one digital platforms. Taking inspiration from successful Asian models like WeChat and Alipay, these super-apps offer comprehensive services and are gaining traction among MENA consumers.
The emergence of new digital habits and the increasing number of payment methods have created a wealth of opportunities for Web3 marketers. These changes can be used to develop effective marketing campaigns and improve customer retention.
Cryptocurrencies have expanded beyond mere investment assets to feasible payment solutions. Users in the MENA region alone acquired over $500 billion in crypto from July 2021 to June 2022. This marks a 48 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Integrating cryptocurrencies into payment systems allows faster, seamless transactions with improved security. The system reduces fraud risks and allows users to transact with confidence.
These features are particularly crucial for regions with limited banking infrastructure, as crypto provides access to financial services that were previously unavailable.
The rise of decentralized finance applications also brings exciting prospects for marketers. These platforms can improve financial inclusivity, a critical aspect for regions like MENA, where many still lack access to traditional banking services.
Marketers can bridge the gap and empower individuals in these underserved communities by tapping into the expanding market of users seeking innovative financial solutions. These include digital asset trading and peer-to-peer loans.
CBDC is making waves in digital finance, with 86 percent of global central banks exploring their potential. This shift indicates a revolutionary transformation from physical cash to digital formats, bridging the gap between traditional finance and regulated digital assets.
CBDCs function like physical cash, accessible to anyone with a digital wallet, providing financial services to individuals outside the traditional banking system.
Countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken steps to pilot CBDCs in the MENA region. This highlights a growing acceptance and normalization of digital currencies, potentially reshaping the future of financial transactions in the region.
The mainstream adoption of CBDCs creates an ideal environment to introduce innovative products and services built on blockchain technology. This has allowed marketers to reach a wider audience and convert them into customers.
The fast-paced innovation in the crypto market has posed challenges for regulatory bodies. However, many MENA countries are actively working to set clear rules for crypto transactions.
For Web3 marketers, having clear guidelines allows them to confidently develop marketing strategies and design products within a regulated environment while building trust among consumers.
The Web3 marketers’ strategic shift towards the MENA region is driven by various factors. They can use this opportunity to drive significant growth in the global fintech space.
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