UAE consumers trust digital payments over cash

RetailME Bureau

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai and Visa, have launched ‘Stay Secure,’ a consumer education campaign that aims to promote safe digital payment (card and mobile) practices among UAE consumers.

The Visa-DED 2019 campaign addresses consumer concerns and provides relevant tips and advice to help consumers protect themselves against payment-related frauds. This is the fourth successive year that DED and Visa have partnered on this initiative. Previously running for one week, this year’s campaign will run for one month.

Visa and DED surveyed consumers across the UAE regarding security of digital payments both online and in-store. According to the survey findings, UAE consumers are increasingly comfortable paying and transacting with cards overall (in-store and online), with 84% of respondents finding cards more secure than cash.

Among online shoppers, specifically, 73% prefer paying by card driven by factors such as security (73%), budget management (58%) and spend rewards (52%). Eighty-seven percent of the respondents claimed to have started making more card payments online in the past two years.

For in-store transactions, security (75%), convenience (69%) and budget management (66%) were identified as being the top three drivers for consumer preference. The survey findings also noted that 82% of respondents trust digital wallets (contactless transactions with mobile) and 75% trust contactless cards.

“The ‘Stay Secure’ survey findings reveal that consumer confidence and trust in online shopping has significantly increased over the last few years, and in the coming years it is only going to expand further thanks to the rising adoption of digital wallets, arrival of better security technologies and modernisation of e-commerce platforms. We are delighted to see our efforts with Visa translating into tangible outcomes and promoting digital commerce, particularly when Dubai reaffirms itself as a shopping destination of choice and accelerates its transition to a Smart City,” said Ahmad Al Zaabi, director of Consumer Protection in the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector, DED.

“At a time when businesses and consumers are becoming more digital and the impact of new technologies is felt by everyone everywhere, security must remain at the forefront. If digital commerce is the way ahead then consumers need to feel secure about using it. One of the ways we are doing this is by continuing with our mission of educating consumers on digital payments and making them aware of the multi-layered security that is in place to protect their card data,” added Neil Fernandes, Visa’s head of risk for Middle East and North Africa. “We are delighted to see our efforts paying off as evident with the positive results of our survey indicating improvement in consumer confidence in transacting digitally using digital wallets and contactless cards. As our partner in this initiative, DED has played a key role in imparting knowledge among consumers and fuelling the growth of digital commerce through new initiatives – all of which are catalysts in accelerating UAE’s digital transformation and movement towards a cashless future.”

An important finding that emerged from the survey and one for retailers to take note of was offering card payment option (mobile POS) upon product delivery could help with converting cash on delivery (COD) customers into digital payers. According to the survey, 92% of those customers preferring COD would pay by card if a mobile POS machine was available upon delivery.

Visa’s survey also provides insights on how online merchants can tackle consumer security concerns and encourage more shoppers to use their sites. Consumers prioritised the following factors when transacting on an online platform – visibility of logos of payment providers & trust badges (63%); providing strong customer service (61%); displaying customer reviews (49%); and displaying SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates (35%) on the sites.

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