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Banking and payments expert Lafferty Group to hold annual Council meetings in Dubai for first time
“Meetings to highlight opportunities and challenges of billion dollar MENA payments industry,” says host, Network International

Lafferty Group, the leading knowledge services provider for the financial industry worldwide, will be holding its prestigious Council meetings in Dubai for the first time, from 10 - 12 November, 2014.

The three high-profile Council Meetings, namely the International Cards and Payments Council, the International Retail Banking Council and the Global Merchant Services Council are being brought to the region by Network International, the leading payment solutions provider in the Middle East.

The meetings are expected to be attended by senior banking and payment executives from around the world to discuss a range of issues, including the opportunities and challenges facing the estimated $880 billion* payments industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Lafferty Councils are member-only meetings which were established in 1995 by the Lafferty Group. The meetings, each focused on the retail banking, cards & payments and mobile money sectors respectively provide an international peer group where participants work together to identify industry best practices for mutual benefit. Each Council meeting will feature thought-provoking presentations and discussions led by industry leaders and experts.

Michael Lafferty, Chairman of Lafferty Group said, “Lafferty Group’s interest and involvement in the MENA region is long-standing and we regularly produce research reports that focus on key markets in the region. It is a fascinating and diverse area and is a massive market for retail banking, wealth management and payments like remittance services. There is also a thirst for knowledge in matters such as retail banking best practice and industry trends and issues.”

Commenting on the growing relevance of the MENA payments industry, Bhairav Trivedi, Chief Executive Officer, Network International, stated, “Our partnership with the Lafferty Group to host the Council meetings here in Dubai speaks volumes of the attention this region is garnering within the global banking and payment industries.

“The banking and payments markets in the Middle East and North Africa are among the fastest growing in the world and the UAE, in particular, leads the region in the adoption of online and mobile payment systems. On the consumer side, there are a number of factors impacting the demand for services – populations in the region are becoming younger on average and they are better educated and more demanding. In a highly competitive environment, banks, financial institutions as well as solutions providers like us across the region have invested heavily to offer customers a range of innovative products and payment solutions,” added Trivedi.

Network International is the largest acquirer in the United Arab Emirates. In the last three years, the company has witnessed a doubling in volume of transactions processed, reaching almost 400 million transactions in 2013, amounting to AED 70 billion in volume.

“The Lafferty Councils will bring in timely attention to the issues facing the burgeoning payments industry in the region, leading to better consumer insight as well as a more robust regulatory environment,” concluded Trivedi.

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