Home » Mastercard New Payments Index 2022: UAE Consumers Embrace Digital Payments
88% of consumers in the UAE have used at least one emerging payment method in the last year, with usage expected to increase further
Adoption of a broader range of digital payment methods is accelerating in the UAE and the technology fueling the future of payments is already here, according to Mastercard’s New Payments Index 2022. In addition to being aware of solutions like cryptocurrency, digital cards, biometric payments, BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) and open banking, consumers in the UAE are increasingly and actively using these solutions in their everyday lives.
Mastercard’s New Payments Index 2022 found that 88% of people in the UAE have used at least one emerging payment method in the last year. Of these, 39% used a tappable smartphone mobile wallet, 29% used BNPL, 20% used cryptocurrency and 18% used a payment-enabled wearable tech device. Consumers are also making purchases in increasingly diverse ways, including through voice assistants and social media apps.
While traditional payment methods still have traction, 29% of consumers in the UAE indicated they used less cash in the past year. By contrast, 66% of UAE users (compared to 61% globally) increased their use of at least one digital payment method in the last year, including digital cards, SMS payments, digital money transfer apps and instant payment services. While crypto use was low, 40% of cryptocurrency users in the UAE say they have used it more in the last year. These behaviors are expected to continue, with comfort and security key to growing adoption.
The Index confirmed security is top of mind when deciding what payment methods to use, globally and in the UAE (36%). In the country, security and rewards are main considerations, followed by promotions and ease of use. Highlighting sustainability as a key driver in the region, 36% of UAE consumers said they also consider social and environmental benefits.
“It is exciting to see the increased adoption of emerging payment methods and consumers’ eagerness to reap the benefits of the digital economy in the UAE and across the region. Mastercard is committed to understanding the needs and preferences of the people in the markets we serve, and we will continue partnering with the public and private sectors to develop market-relevant solutions as we build an inclusive and connected digital future that works for everyone,” said J.K. Khalil, Cluster General Manager, MENA East, Mastercard.
High awareness of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) Installments as a budgeting tool
The majority of UAE consumers have heard of BNPL with 87% saying they are familiar with the concept, and almost half (46%) are already comfortable using it today. Consumers want the flexibility and convenience of BNPL, but with the sense of security associated with a trusted provider like a bank or payment network.
Those that have used BNPL find it useful for emergency and big-ticket purchases, as well as increased purchasing power. Consumers also find BNPL useful for unique use cases, including as a budgeting and financial planning tool.
Deeper understanding of blockchain technology key to expanding cryptocurrency and NFT use
Broad mainstream awareness of cryptocurrency (95%) and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) (86%) exist, though depth of understanding about both currencies and the underlying technology is lacking, with three in four (74%) UAE consumers agreeing they would use cryptocurrency more if they understood it better. Consumers are looking for more education, security, and flexibility to manage crypto assets. Still, about two thirds (66%) of consumers in UAE agree NFTs and other digital assets could be good investments. Two in three UAE consumers (67%) have undertaken at least one crypto-related activity in the past year, such as opening a crypto wallet, buying, trading or holding crypto as an investment.
Most consumers are open to future cryptocurrency engagement, with potential opportunities ranging from holding an investment to redeeming rewards, using crypto as means of payment, to purchasing an NFT using a credit or debit card. Stability in the industry is lacking, with those familiar with crypto feeling especially strongly about the need for regulation. Banks are presently the most trusted entity to drive digital currencies.
Receptiveness to more direct Account-to-Account (A2A) payments
The majority of consumers are seeking greater agility to optimize bill payments, prioritizing control, flexibility, convenience, and integrated payment technologies. Most consumers are open to direct account-to-account payment options, by linking their account to a merchant site for future purchases. 83% of UAE consumers using account-to-account payments have maintained or increased their usage in the last year.
Seven in ten consumers (70%) agree they are interested in a bill payment option that allows them to change the date they pay their monthly bills, mostly due to an irregular income. Bill payment options that allow them to pay over a period using a buy now, pay later solution (71%) was also of interest, as well as automatic payments for their household bills (70%).
Consumers turning to fintech, and indirectly open banking, to accomplish everyday finance needs
Consumers are relying on digital finance options for their everyday financial tasks, with the benefits of open banking like speed, convenience, and transparency. Eight in ten (81%) know about open banking, and are using it to pay their bills, do their banking, secure or refinance loans, and make BNPL payments.
Over half (55%) of UAE consumers feel safe using apps to send money to people or businesses from their phone. Five in ten (50%) are willing to share financial data information with apps to have access to payment tools that help them manage their money.
Biometrics offer convenience and security at checkout, though data access concerns remain
Consumers recognize the convenience that biometrics can offer, with 71% agreeing it is easier to make payments using biometrics than a card or device. The potential for security optimization is also evident to consumers, with seven in ten agreeing biometrics tech for payments is more secure than two factor authentication.
While consumers do have some concerns about what entities have access to their biometric data, they are still open to using it given the time it saves, and nearly two thirds (62%) have used biometrics for at least one purchase in the last year. Five in six (87%) consumers have used or plan to use their fingerprint to make a payment, which was followed by other biometric methods like facial recognition, palm or hand, retina scans, and voice recognition.
Emerging payments have strongest traction among more digitally native generations
Younger generations have gone more digital in their purchasing and payments behavior, and their engagement in and usage of emerging digital payments engagement is accelerating at a faster rate than older audiences. They are also more open to exploring emerging payment approaches like crypto, or buying virtual products in the metaverse. While security and data privacy remain a concern for them, it is less heightened than for older audiences, and they are more likely to perceive digital tools as secure.
Across the UAE, Gen Z is least likely to use cash or make in-person purchases and payments. They are proactively seeking out new payment methods, and nearly two thirds of Gen Z (64%) in the UAE are likely to have obtained a new digital payment alternative (e.g. digital wallet, click-to-pay account) compared to only 22% of Boomers.
As consumers shop, bank and transact digitally more than ever before, Mastercard continues to strengthen its digital payment capabilities in the UAE and wider EEMEA region. Its trusted technology solutions are being used for new use cases, brought to market through various partnerships with fintechs, governments, financial institutions, digital giants and telecom operators. By tapping into multi-rail capabilities to create competitive localized solutions, Mastercard is accelerating the transfer of value in new ways, on multiple rails, thereby advancing a bright future for inclusive commerce.
MEA Markets is happy to announce that the MEA Business Awards are returning for the sixth consecutive year! This established awards programme identifies those individuals and companies who excel in their respective industries, encompassing the entirety of the Middle East and Africa in our search to highlight the firms that go above and beyond to establish themselves as business leaders.Visit our awards here
MEA Markets is very proud to host the UAE Business Awards 2023 for its seventh instalment! This awards programme aims to reward a vastly diverse range of hardworking businesses from across the United Arab Emirates region, who are demonstrating innovation and excellence throughout a turbulent economic climate many firms are suffering through.Visit our awards here
For the past five years the African Excellence Awards have recognised the very best of African Industry, and MEA Markets is excited to announce that this respected programme will be returning for its sixth edition in 2023! The African Excellence Awards are an essential guide to the key sectors driving growth throughout the continent, rewarding those outstanding companies and individuals whose entrepreneurship has strengthened Africa’s position as the next global economic powerhouse.Visit our awards here
We have packages to suit everyone. Let us help work out which one would suit your needs!
Ground Floor, Suite B-D,
The Maltsters, Wetmore Road,
MEA Markets is a quarterly publication dedicated to researching and publicising the major moves and events as they happen across the entire Middle East & Africa region.
Our team of highly trained and committed journalists, contributors, researchers and worldwide industry insiders are on hand to ensure that our global readership enjoys 24/7 access to timely and entertaining content that keeps them up to date with the ins and outs of this fast moving region.
|cf_use_ob||past||Cloudflare sets this cookie to improve page load times and to disallow any security restrictions based on the visitor's IP address.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-advertisement||1 year||Set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin, this cookie is used to record the user consent for the cookies in the "Advertisement" category .|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
|CookieLawInfoConsent||1 year||Records the default button state of the corresponding category & the status of CCPA. It works only in coordination with the primary cookie.|
|PHPSESSID||session||This cookie is native to PHP applications. The cookie is used to store and identify a users' unique session ID for the purpose of managing user session on the website. The cookie is a session cookies and is deleted when all the browser windows are closed.|
|na_id||1 year 1 month||The na_id is set by AddThis to enable sharing of links on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.|
|na_rn||1 month||The na_rn cookie is used to recognize the visitor upon re-entry. It allows to record details on user behaviour and facilitate the social sharing function provided by Addthis.com.|
|na_sc_e||1 month||The na_sc_e cookie is used to recognize the visitor upon re-entry. It allows to record details on user behaviour and facilitate the social sharing function provided by Addthis.com.|
|na_sr||1 month||The na_sr cookie is used to recognize the visitor upon re-entry. It allows to record details on user behaviour and facilitate the social sharing function provided by Addthis.com.|
|na_srp||1 minute||The na_srp cookie is used to recognize the visitor upon re-entry. It allows to record details on user behaviour and facilitate the social sharing function provided by Addthis.com.|
|na_tc||1 year 1 month||The na_tc cookie is used to recognize the visitor upon re-entry. It allows to record details on user behaviour and facilitate the social sharing function provided by Addthis.com.|
|ouid||1 year 1 month||Associated with the AddThis widget, this cookie helps users to share content across various networking and sharing forums.|
|d||3 months||Quantserve sets this cookie to anonymously track information on how visitors use the website.|
|__gads||1 year 24 days||The __gads cookie, set by Google, is stored under DoubleClick domain and tracks the number of times users see an advert, measures the success of the campaign and calculates its revenue. This cookie can only be read from the domain they are set on and will not track any data while browsing through other sites.|
|_ga||2 years||The _ga cookie, installed by Google Analytics, calculates visitor, session and campaign data and also keeps track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookie stores information anonymously and assigns a randomly generated number to recognize unique visitors.|
|_ga_21JSMT0NZV||2 years||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics.|
|_ga_7GTFNZD3Y9||2 years||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics.|
|_gat_gtag_UA_63302014_1||1 minute||Set by Google to distinguish users.|
|_gat_gtag_UA_67421741_1||1 minute||Set by Google to distinguish users.|
|_gid||1 day||Installed by Google Analytics, _gid cookie stores information on how visitors use a website, while also creating an analytics report of the website's performance. Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously.|
|aigm_tracking_consent||1 year||Created by Monster Tracking v2 for internal tracking/fingerprinting - determines whether the user has consented to being tracked by allowing cookies.|
|aigm_tracking_id||1 year||Created by Monster Tracking v2 for internal tracking/fingerprinting - contains the consent ID number of the user.|
|ANON_ID||3 months||This cookie, set by Tribal Fusion, collects data on user visits to the website, such as what pages have been accessed .|
|u||1 year||This cookie is used by Bombora to collect information that is used either in aggregate form, to help understand how websites are being used or how effective marketing campaigns are, or to help customize the websites for visitors.|
|uid||1 year 1 month||This is a Google UserID cookie that tracks users across various website segments.|
|_rxuuid||1 year||Unruly Media sets this cookie to store information on how the end user uses the website and any advertising that the end user may have seen before visiting the said website.|
|ab||1 year||Owned by agkn, this cookie is used for targeting and advertising purposes.|
|ANON_ID_old||3 months||This cookie helps to categorise the users interest and to create profiles in terms of resales of targeted marketing. This cookie is used to collect user information such as what pages have been viewed on the website for creating profiles.|
|CMID||1 year||Casale Media sets this cookie to collect information on user behavior, for targeted advertising.|
|CMPRO||3 months||CMPRO cookie is set by CasaleMedia for anonymous user tracking, and for targeted advertising.|
|CMPS||3 months||CMPS cookie is set by CasaleMedia for anonymous user tracking based on user's website visits, for displaying targeted ads.|
|DSID||1 hour||This cookie is set by DoubleClick to note the user's specific user identity. It contains a hashed/encrypted unique ID.|
|IDE||1 year 24 days||Google DoubleClick IDE cookies are used to store information about how the user uses the website to present them with relevant ads and according to the user profile.|
|KADUSERCOOKIE||3 months||The cookie, set by PubMatic, registers a unique ID that identifies a returning user's device across websites that use the same ad network. The ID is used for targeted ads.|
|KTPCACOOKIE||1 day||The cookie, set by PubMatic, registers a unique ID that identifies a returning user's device across websites that use the same ad network. The ID is used for targeted ads.|
|ljt_reader||1 year||This is a Lijit Advertising Platform cookie used for recognizing the browser or device when users return to their site or one of their partner's sites.|
|mc||1 year 1 month||Quantserve sets the mc cookie to anonymously track user behaviour on the website.|
|mt_mop||1 month||MediaMath uses this cookie to synchronize the visitor ID with a limited number of trusted exchanges and data partners.|
|pxrc||2 months||This cookie is set by pippio to provide users with relevant advertisements and limit the number of ads displayed.|
|rlas3||1 year||RLCDN sets this cookie to provide users with relevant advertisements and limit the number of ads displayed.|
|suid_legacy||1 year||Collects information on user preferences and interaction with web-campaign content which is used on CRM-campaign-platforms used by website owners for promoting events or products.|
|test_cookie||15 minutes||The test_cookie is set by doubleclick.net and is used to determine if the user's browser supports cookies.|
|tuuid||3 months||The tuuid cookie, set by BidSwitch, stores an unique ID to determine what adverts the users have seen if they have visited any of the advertiser's websites. The information is used to decide when and how often users will see a certain banner.|
|tuuid_lu||3 months||This cookie, set by BidSwitch, stores a unique ID to determine what adverts the users have seen while visiting an advertiser's website. This information is then used to understand when and how often users will see a certain banner.|
|uuid||3 months||MediaMath sets this cookie to avoid the same ads from being shown repeatedly and for relevant advertising.|
|b||1 year||No description|
|CMTS||3 months||No description|
|suid||1 year||No description|