Montreal-based payment software solution provider Amadis is partnering with eMcREY, a Middle East financial solution provider allowing Saudi Arabian merchants to transform mobile devices into contactless point of sale (POS) terminals.
The partnership will make transactions even faster as merchants accept contactless payments from Android phones, and other devices.
According to Emmanuel Haydont, chief executive officer and co-founder of Amadis, Saudi Arabia is a flourishing market when it comes to adopting this type of technology.
“Saudi Arabia is a market which is adopting new technology. eMcREY is a knowledgeable company providing technology assistance to key banks in the area.”
Unlike contactless payment systems such as Apple Pay that require a POS terminal, the Amadis and eMcREY partnership transforms mobile devices into payment machines that read consumers’ cards. This type of technology is beneficial for delivery of payments, Haydont said, as it saves time and can be used anywhere. All merchants need is a phone with the payment application activated.
eMcREY’s SoftPOS will allow its customers to accept payment from Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and MADA (the market-leading payment card in Saudi Arabia). With Amadis’ software, eMcREY is able to accept all contactless payments through a single application.
Regarding how Amadis works with other companies, Fabrice Grenier, chief business officer of Amadis, put it simply and said, “Imagine that if you have a car, we provide you with the engine and all the electronics and you just do what is around. Or if you buy a laptop, we provide the motherboard and you just provide the plastics around.”
Amadis is particularly interested in Saudi Arabia because the country is pushing to go cashless.
“Particularly in Saudi Arabia, there is a mandate from the central bank to move as much as possible to cashless,” Grenier said.
Accelerated by the pandemic, there has been a rapid growth in contactless transactions using traditional terminals. But Haydont said there has been demand from smaller merchants for a contactless payment service that doesn’t necessarily require a payment terminal in the traditional sense.
“We’ve seen the need for smaller merchants not equipped [with payment terminals] for economic reasons to have access to these new software-based solutions,” he said.
Cashless payments are also gaining popularity due to their convenience, security, and speed.
“Having this cost-effective solution is going to facilitate the replacement of cash in many small markets and in particular situations of mobility. For example, delivery [services] have grown a lot in the modern world and delivery will be benefiting a lot from this new, very light, software-based payment acceptance solutions,” Haydont added.
Expanding to Canada
While Amadis is focusing on working with countries in the Middle East, the technology is expected to be adopted in North America in the near term. However, the focus will be mainly in Canada, where contactless technology is already extensively used.
“It only works with contactless technology. It can only work in countries where you have a full deployment of contactless cards, which is the case in Canada, but it’s not the case, for example, in the United States,” Haydont said. “The migration to contactless cards is not complete…you need to insert your card into a reader and you cannot tap and for this reason, the U.S. market is not fully open yet to these new technologies.”