Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024 introduces digital payment system for book sales, a first in the Arab world

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024 introduces digital payment system for book sales, a first in the Arab world

May 2, 2024

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 1 May 2024 – In line with the UAE’s ambitious vision for digital transformation and its commitment to utilising the latest software, technologies, and artificial intelligence, organisers of the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2024) have introduced a digital payment system for visitors to use at the event.

The system is the first of its kind in the Arab world and positions the ADIBF, which will run until 5 May, as the first cashless book fair. It operates using a device designed and programmed specifically for the Fair and connected to various banks’ payment networks. The system allows users to pay with their cards, Apple Pay accounts, or other similar methods, through devices available in the exhibition halls.

Visitors carrying only cash can deposit the amount into the device and receive a card loaded with the deposited amount, allowing them to pay for books from any available device in the Fair. If the visitor does not spend all the balance loaded on the card, they can reclaim the remaining amount in cash from the same device used to issue the card.

The digital payment method serves to significantly reduce sales and cash-related errors during the Fair to potentially zero. It also enables exhibitors from other countries to utilise all their data for their more than 250,000 titles, using the device to keep track of books sold. Moreover, it deposits the proceeds into their bank accounts at the end of the day, along with a detailed sales report.

As for publishers who do not have a bank account or  are unable to access banking services for any reason, a financial centre has been set up that allows them, upon selling a set number of their publications, to receive the value of their sales in cash at the end of the day or after several days, if they prefer.

Furthermore, an artificial intelligence-powered system has been implemented for future use to generate reports on crowd congestion within the fair. The system outlines a structure of the fair and identifies real-life congestion spots, tracking the number of visitors and their preferences with regards to the available books, whether literary, philosophical, intellectual, or otherwise, as well as the sales process. Through the same AI-based system, a connection is established between visitors and the products sold, thereby identifying the best-selling titles and other details related to the Book Fair.

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