The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Loves Cash

by Alex Johnson 0

Results from a new survey indicate that cash is, by far, the preferred way to pay in the UAE.

“Cash was the top payment method for UAE residents in 10 out of 12 purchase categories1 ranging from groceries through to school fees. Credit cards were the next most frequently used payment method, followed by debit cards, prepaid cards and other payment methods including cheese and online banking.”

Survey respondents indicated that their preference for cash came from their perception of it as quicker, safer, and easier to control spending on than a debit or credit card. Interestingly, respondents indicated an openess to using mobile payment products in the future, despite a dearth of adoption in the present.

“only 4 per cent said they currently purchase goods using a mobile device. In contrast, the majority of UAE residents (57 per cent) said they would be comfortable using a smart phone to pay for goods and services. One in five (20 per cent) said they would be very comfortable using a mobile device with only 19 per cent saying they would not be comfortable.

Bhakra Trivedi added: “There is clearly appetite for new methods of payment here in the UAE. With one of the highest penetrations of smart phone use and an increasingly sophisticated young population, new technology will clearly shape the future of the payments landscape in the region.”

Overview by Alex Johnson, Sr. Analyst, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Service Group

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