Digital Payment Surges Amid COVID-19
mediaoffice.ae: Dubai Police, Dubai Economy, and the world’s leader in digital payments, Visa (NYSE: V), today released findings of a survey on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on payment behavior of consumers in the UAE. The survey also looks at consumers’ general views, preferences and concerns related to digital payments and offers key insights for merchants.
The survey release corresponds with the launch of Visa’s fifth annual “Stay Secure” – this year in partnership with both Dubai Police and Dubai Economy - social media campaign on Facebook (@VisaMiddleEast @DubaiPolice) and Instagram (@VisaMiddleEast, @DubaiPolice @DubaiDED) to promote safe digital payment practices. This year’s campaign comes at a time when more consumers in the UAE have increased their use of digital payments, and many opting to shop online for the first time to get what they need during this health crisis. The Stay Secure webpage has tips and educational videos, and information on security features of digital payments.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents surveyed in the UAE have reduced shopping in-store since the outbreak of the pandemic and 49% are shopping online more. When they do shop at stores, 71% are using digital payments over cash with the majority using contactless cards (54%) and mobile wallets (46%) more. For respondents shopping more online, the majority (61%) use cards or digital wallets more to pay online over COD. Increased trust in the security of the payment technology, speed, convenience and limited human contact, were the top reasons cited for their increased preference for digital payments.
Up to 53% of respondents were comfortable sharing personal data with banks, telecom operators, and government owned entities. Name, demographic data and contact information were cited as data that needs to be protected the most. Sixty-three percent find biometrics secure and for 55% biometrics is convenient to use. Sixty percent trust paying with mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. These wallets use Visa’s tokenization technology, which replaces sensitive card data, including the 16-digit card number, with a random number, also known as a “token”, to protect cardholders’ account information when paying in store or online.
Neil Fernandes, Visa’s Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa, commented: “The pandemic has changed how consumers shop and pay with increased reliance on and preference for digital commerce. With increased usage both among experienced and first-time users, cybercriminals too are keen to capitalize on the increased activity and vulnerability, especially of first-time online shoppers. That is why educating consumers about safe payment behavior is critical not only for the moment but as we move forward and adapt to the new normal. We are delighted to partner with Dubai Police and Dubai Economy to continue our mission of empowering consumers to continue using digital payments and online channels with full confidence.”
Interestingly, the findings also revealed significant differences in the behaviors of Gen Z (18-22 years) compared to the general population. For example, less than half (49%) of Gen Z respondents find biometrics secure compared to 70% of the rest. With regards to tokenization technology, less than half of Gen Z consumers (48%) believe it improves mobile wallet security compared to 61% of non-Gen Z consumers. With Gen Z entering the job market and their purchasing power expected to increase in the future, insights into their views and behavior are useful for businesses looking to cultivate long-term relationships with them.
More than half (58%) of UAE consumers surveyed have abandoned their online shopping cart because of authentication delays or failure. Of those who abandoned their carts, 62% try again after some time, 35% purchased from other sites, 34% purchased from a nearby store, and 32% dropped the idea of purchasing the product altogether. For 66% of respondents, an authentication process that doesn’t require them to enter one-time-passcode (OTP) for standard and recurrent transactions would be more convenient; 65% would trust a more seamless process.
Merchants seeking to deliver an enhanced online experience for customers can now adopt Visa Secure (previously known as Verified by Visa), an updated program to help make online payments more secure and seamless. It uses the latest EMV 3-D Secure (3DS) specification, which leverages fraud-detection intelligence working behind the scenes to verify cardholder identity and block unauthorized transactions.
The survey provides further insights on how merchants can build trust in eCommerce sites. The following emerged as the top “confidence builders” by consumers surveyed: offering a wide range of payment options (51%); displaying verified customer reviews (50%); offering payment options in local currency (45%); trust badges/security icons (42%); ease of refunds (42%); and SSL certificate (40%).