GCC countries: Growing use of credit cards
Daily use of debit and credit cards in the GCC countries continue to grow strongly, the latest statistics from Visa International indicate. For the 12 month period ended March, an average of 730,000 purchases were made per day on Visa debit and credit cards in the GCC, or more than eight transactions every second, representing a 30 per cent growth over the previous 12-month period.
Shopping spend shot up 32 per cent to $10.5 billion (Dh38.64 billion). "While the rise in volume and value of card payments is gratifying, what is perhaps more significant is that the majority of purchases being made by Visa cardholders in the GCC are everyday, small value purchases," said Kamran Siddiqi, general manager for Middle East. "This shows that cards really are starting to challenge cash in our society as the preferred way to pay."
More than a third of the shopping spend in the GCC was generated by Saudi cardholders. Siddiqi added that markets such as the UAE are already showing clear signs of cards replacing cash, with the numbers of purchase transactions by UAE cardholders being higher than the number of ATM cash withdrawals.
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