Hello from lovely Lebanon and ArabNet Beirut! We’re checking in with an update after Day 2 of the conference.
The first day of the conference is a design + code day, so it doesn’t really get going until Day 2 when the conference opens up and the majority of delegates and speakers arrive.
The morning kicked off with speeches from dignitaries that underpinned the investment MENA governments are making in ecommerce. We were thrilled to get a visit to the Payfort booth afterwards from H.E Minister Boutros Harb from the Ministry of Telecommunications.
The number of mobile users in the GCC is…
Mobile is a theme that is running through this conference and it seems like every speaker is going to refer to mobile penetration numbers at least once!
One of the most interesting thoughts on this subject came from Kelly Hoey from New York. She wants to remove the distinction between m-commerce and e-commerce and refer to it only as commerce.
Indeed, people now move between apps, social media and websites in customer journeys that are increasingly complex and which cross multiple devices. In 2015, having a website just isn’t enough if you want to be an ecommerce player.
It’s always interesting to see what sectors are spurring the creation of new startups. Based upon the Startup Demo it’s clear that health and education are core markets for innovation.
The demo featured Menaversity, Elymu, Otlobdoctor.com and meddy, companies that are about connecting people with health and educational services through digital platforms.
We interviewed all of the startups in the demo to recap the event.
Audi Bank were debuting their NFC payment wristbands at the conference and it’s one of the coolest conference giveaways we’ve seen in some time. The bands come pre-loaded with $4 and give a glimpse into the future of wearable payments.