MENA region needs more financial services online

Google says financial institutions should increase online presence to catch customers using search engines

Tags: Banking and financeE-commerceGoogle Incorporated
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MENA region needs more financial services online Financial institutions should enhance their presence on search engines to capture more customers, says Mourad.
By  Mark Sutton Published  February 21, 2012

Google says that the MENA region is ripe for more online financial services.

According to research conducted by TNS Middle East & Africa, over 52% of people surveyed used search engines to search for financial products such as bank accounts and personal loans.

The survey, which sampled 1,000 decision makers and influencers for the purchase or research of financial products, found that while most searches for financial products started online, buyers only purchased an average of 1.2 finance products in the previous 24 months. Google says that this indicates a gap in the market and that financial institutions targeting the MENA region should target more resources into their online activities.

"People across the world search on Google for information billions of times a day. The stats show that Middle East and North Africa region is a fast emerging market with the searches per day showing a growth rate of 25% year on year, having the UAE among the fastest countries in search activity". said Mohamad Mourad, Google Gulf regional manager. "The results of this study along with the trends of search activity in the UAE implies that companies in the finance and banking industry should enhance their presence on search engines to provide their customers base with the most relevant information about their products."

The survey also showed that nearly 40% of respondents report using online banking services at least once a month, for activities such as paying bills, transferring money, and keeping an eye on accounts. Around one third of respondents report using some kind of mobile device to engage in online banking activities.

"The pace of innovation in search continues to accelerate and today, we're making serious strides towards a knowledge engine," continues Mourad. "More engineers are working on search today than at any time in the past to achieve our goal to help people convert data and information into knowledge. We conducted the UAE-focused deep dive report to help companies get insight into the industry online trends and provide them an opportunity to make informed decisions about investing in the future."

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