“Unfortunately, they [governments] thought that smart means taking their online site and putting it as a smartphone app. It is a big mistake. If they want to be smart and reach out to their smart clients as well, they need to start creating smart formulas,” Abdul Latif Al Sayegh, chief executive of Al Sayegh Media, told Gulf News on the sidelines of the second GCC Government Social Media Summit on Monday.
He said the governments need to start thinking in a smart way because smart devices do allow users to do things in a smart way. If they [governments] are duplicating their websites and putting it on a smartphone, it is not smart. That website is already there much before the government makes an announcement.”
He added that the citizens need to be educated, otherwise they are not going to use these services. “So many applications developed in the past years are just sitting in the app stores. Why, because the governments did not educate them on how to use it,” he said.
“I like the way banks are doing business. Consumers barely go to the banks nowadays. Banks make consumers part of their banking lifestyle. I can go to any shopping mall and do my banking with my smartphone, or I can go to any ATM and do my banking procedures. That is called smart,” Al Sayegh said.
In the next five years, all citizens will be carrying a smartphone.  “We have already reached a penetration rate of close to 70 per cent in the UAE. Once you reach 100 per cent penetration rate, that means all the customers are online and the governments need to deal with them in a social way. That will happen only if we start today,” he pointed out.
Citing an example, Al Sayegh said Mashreq’s recent launch of Mashreq Payport targeted at businesses that are dependent on cash to facilitate home deliveries to enrich people’s experiences through innovation.
“If banks want to make their customers happy, banks need to go to their customers instead of customers coming to the bank,” he said, adding, many governments in the region are not sure of the word “gamification”.
He said gamification is growing across the world of social media and digital media. About 70 to 80 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies in the world are using “gamification right now” in its applications and processes to enhance their business, services and to have a stronger business processes.