It goes without saying that non-cash payments are on the rise worldwide and I’ve witnessed that first hand ever since I moved to Montreal back in December. In fact, after enabling Apple Pay and installing most of the loyalty programs on my phone, I didn’t even need to carry my wallet around anymore. All you need is your smartphone and a credit card when paying large amounts and that’s about it.
Back in Lebanon, the problem wasn’t the lack of technologies to empower a cashless society but the lack of awareness and incentives to encourage merchants and customers to go cashless. In fact, if we look at companies like Uber, they had to “downgrade” their app to introduce cash payments in Lebanon just to satisfy customer needs because everyone loves cash.
I’ve worked on enabling contactless payment during my Bank Audi years and we even had Apple Pay enabled (for non-Lebanese credit cards obviously), and even though the momentum towards a cashless culture had picked up following several campaigns, the biggest obstacles were customers’ and merchants’ reluctance to use these technologies.
areeba launched in 2017, after M1 acquired Bank Audi’s electronic payment technology department, and they’ve been reluctant ever since on promoting a cashless culture by offering a variety of payment solutions, which I proudly worked on as well, and organizing several marketing campaigns. The latest was the integrated cash register solutions at McDonalds which are super practical and easy to use, and I’m loving the “2bada Jadd” videos and glad to see it is gaining momentum across Lebanon.
Cashless societies decreases the cost and risk associated with cash payments, and ensure a secure payment environment for retailers and customers.
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