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VISA survey: UAE consumers increasingly trust digital payments over cash

Visa and the Department of Economic Development (DED) surveyed consumers across the UAE regarding security of digital payments both online and in-store.

84% of surveyed consumers consider digital payments highly secure over cash 92% of those customers preferring cash on delivery would pay by card if a mobile POS machine was available upon delivery Among online shoppers, specifically, 73% prefer paying by card driven by factors such as security (73%), budget management (58%), and spend rewards (52%)

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, and Visa (NYSE: V) this week 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%). 87% 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.

Ahmad Al Zaabi, Director of Consumer Protection in the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector, DED, said: “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 modernization of eCommerce 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.”

Achieving Higher Customer Conversion Rates

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 prioritized 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. 

Consumer Security Measures

Some of Visa’s key recommendations for consumers to engage in safe online shopping practices include: (i) shop at well-known eCommerce sites, (ii) avoid using public WiFi connection for transactions, (iii) look for the ‘s’ after ‘http’ in website addresses to confirm that a site offers (SSL) protection, (iv) activate Verified by Visa with your bank to secure online payments; log out whenever you leave a website, especially if using a public computer; and (v) never share your personal account information on social media, over email, phone or chat.

To read the full Visa-DED Stay Secure survey, please click here.