Convenience and security main challenges for multinational financial services firm in the Middle East, according to Jeb Million, American Express' Middle East regional chief technology officer
Consumers in the Middle East want cashless solutions without the fear of being ‘watched’, according to American Express' regional chief technology officer.
Speaking at the Arabian Business Tech Forum as part of a panel debating the core issues surrounding the future of payments, Jeb Million, vice president and chief technology officer, American Express (Middle East), also said the company’s main challenge will be to develop cashless solutions that consumers feel are convenient and safe.
"As a connected consumer, what I’m looking for from cashless solutions is the advantages of digital [but] I also want the advantages of physical. I want to be able to touch the products. I want shopping as a shared experience with my family. What I’m looking for is for it to be a little bit easier, and for it to be a little bit more personalised, without the fear that I’m being watched,” he said.
"And as a consumer facing brand, this is going to be critical for us moving forward as we go cashless and make it safe and convenient…” Million added.
He said that cashless solutions are no different to plastic charge cards, as both represent different forms, but were introduced for the same purposes including convenience and security.
"This year marks the 60th anniversary of the plastic charge card launched by American Express back in 1959… It was introduced firstly for convenience for business and customers, and secondly for security reasons... And it’s amazing technology, because it has lasted for 60 years,” he said.
"What’s happening now is that the form factor is changing. Dubai has got a lot of digital wallets … And they’re nice because they're convenient,” he said.
Million added that the value behind cashless solutions is the digital services it allows.
“For me, the real value of going cashless is in the digital services… at the moment, we take it for granted that we can now shop anywhere in the world, or pay for services from home, it’s becoming easier and easier to send money back to our family or friends,” he said.