UAE leads region in credit card usage
United Arab Emirates credit card usage has surpassed other countries in the South Asia, Middle East and Africa Region, according to the recent Consumer Lifestyle survey conducted by MasterCard International. These findings are part of the second wave results of MasterIndex™ of Consumer Confidence survey in the SAMEA Region.
In terms of frequency of card usage, UAE tops MENA countries with 31% of cardholders using their credit cards more than 10 times during a month. While 32% of cardholders used their card three to five times during a month, 19% used their card between 6 to 10 times.
In Kuwait too, 36% of cardholders used their cards up to ten times a month. Interestingly, in Egypt, more than 30% of credit cardholders used their cards between six and ten times a month.
In the UAE, 36% of credit card spending was in the range of US$30 to US$300 while a majority of transactions were in excess of US$300. In Saudi Arabia, the small and medium sized transactions were higher than big ticket spending. 56%of Saudi credit card spending was in the region of US$30 to US$300 and 26% spent less than US$30. In Kuwait, the trends were similar to that of the UAE with close to 60% of card spending exceeding US$300 per transaction.
The survey revealed that close to 60% of the UAE credit cardholders prefer card to cash because it is more convenient. Saudi cardholders find credit cards widely acceptable and come handy for small credit needs. Similarly, security and wide acceptance are the major factors that cardholders in Kuwait find most attractive about credit cards.
Denzil Lawson, senior vice president and general manager, MasterCard International, Middle East and North Africa, commented: “It is clear that the UAE is becoming a mature market for credit card usage in the region, and so is Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to varying degrees. With intensive consumer education, the launch of integrated marketing campaigns and the roll-out of innovative products, credit card usage in the Middle East is set to gather momentum rapidly.”
“MasterCard International will continue its keen commitment to support regional government efforts to shift into predominantly cashless societies as is the trend in Europe and America. By working closely with our member financial institutions to educate customers and share knowledge and best practices with them, card-based payments will surely come of age in the region,” he added. (menareport.com)