It’s no longer one size fits all.
So, payment products will need to adapt to fit the needs of workers and gig employers across the globe. Payment options become more flexible, customisable and in real-time.
In turn, micropayments are on the rise globally.
Micropayments allow customers to make small online transactions and processing these transactions can vary:
Pay-As-You-Go: Customers can make small card payments for services or virtual items. It invites individuals to make small impulse purchases without any large, lasting commitment. E.g. Customers can buy access to a single article, download an eBook or an in-app game feature.
Prepay: Online gift cards or subscription fees are micropayments in action. E.g. Streaming sites that require a subscription fee for unlimited usage in a given timeframe, such as Spotify or Netflix.
Postpay: An alternative to pay-as-you-go, purchases are tracked and aggregated which are later deducted in one larger transaction. E.g. Creators and freelancers are paid out a lump sum once enough micro payments are collected.
Gig economy trends in MENA
We’re predicting the gig economy will continue to expand in MENA. Freelancing is a major market with an associated value of $4 billion in the Middle East. And it's scaling. Young workers entering the labour market are seeking flexible working arrangements over traditional set ups. A recent survey indicated 70% of MENA businesses will look to hire freelancers and 78% of workers intend to focus on part-time, freelance gigs.
Large economies in the region, Saudi, the UAE and Egypt are shown to be well positioned for the emerging gig economy due to their youth-driven populations. For example, freelancers registered in Saudi have grown 157% between 2020 and 2023, accounting for almost 19% of the domestic labour force. With major internet and smartphone penetration across the region means access to the gig economy is at consumers’ fingertips.
Here are our top three trends to watch:
New gig economy sectors on the rise:
The region will see a growth in new markets for gig workers beyond ride-sharing and deliveries. It will likely be in-demand, skills-based projects such as virtual assistants, online coaching and home improvements.
Evolving, tailored regulations:
New ways of working require updates to regulatory frameworks and workers’ rights. We believe this will be revised in the coming years to encompass the gig economy.
Updated ways to pay:
We see the gig economy being a gateway for the next evolution in payments for the region. With the demand for instant, cross border and micropayments, we see the MENA landscape quickly shifting. This means modernised rails and better technological infrastructure and cross border interconnectivity.
It’s an exciting quantum leap to enable cheaper and faster transactions.
Get in touch with us to unlock payments in MENA with a single integration.