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Nearly 40 per cent of UAE residents make online purchases

Used mostly for remittances to home countries, utility bills and for paying children’s school fees

One among three residents in the UAE makes one to five online purchases in a week, according to a survey of purchasing behavior by payment solutions provider Network International.

The study also finds that, among the residents surveyed, five per cent make online purchases more than five times a week.

A major chunk (15 per cent) of the online payments was made in form of remittances to home countries, followed by the payment of utilities at 14 per cent.

Meanwhile, one in ten respondents said they use online facilities to pay children’s school fees, while 12 per cent of transactions were made for buying property or cars.

Asian expatriates topped the list of the most regular users of online payment platforms, with 35 per cent using the facility between one and five times a week, while Emiratis came second (32 per cent) followed by Arab expats (31 per cent) and Western expats (30 per cent).

“The adoption of online shopping among UAE residents is a step in the right direction. As the study reveals, customers are increasingly seeking convenient and secure forms of payment alternatives. This is especially relevant in the UAE, as the country is certainly way ahead of the rest of the region with its high mobile penetration, combined with its relentless drive to move towards being a Smart economy,” says Bhairav Trivedi, Chief Executive Officer of Network International.

However, a survey the payment solutions provider earlier had found out that cash continued to be the preferred method of payment for UAE residents in ten out of 12 purchases categories, ranging from groceries to school fees.

The next preferred method of payment was credit cards, followed by debit cards, prepaid cards and other payment methods, including cheques and online banking.