What's With the Digital Wallet Craze in the Middle East and Should You Get One?

Published February 25th, 2020 - 01:19 GMT
Why Are People Turning Towards Digital Wallets? And Which Ones to Use in the Middle East.
Cashless wallets that can be accessed using mobile phones can save many people time and effort. (Shutterstock)

Every part of our lives is becoming digitized, making the rise of digital wallets a natural response to our high-tech lifestyles. Efficiency, convenience and security are no longer luxuries in the way we conduct financial transactions. They've become necessities.

Digital wallets are exactly what they sound like. In the same way you pull out your wallet to pay, or store cash in it, mobile wallets allow you to send and receive digitized money.

The difference is you can do so much more with a digital wallet and at super speed from the comfort of your own home: set up a wallet account, add credit, make payments and more. 

In certain countries digital wallets don't even require users to have bank accounts in an effort to make these services accessible to everyone, including disadvantaged populations.

Cashless wallets that can be accessed using mobile phones can save people time and effort, by facilitating personal transactions and helping small online business owners run their projects, conduct proper online marketing, and earn money.

Additionally, people in disadvantaged communities and remote areas, where it's hard to access a physical bank or ATM, can make urgent payments without expensive and time consuming travel to conduct their transactions. 

In countries where government services are available online, people no longer need to stand in long queues to pay their monthly water and electric bills. Most digital wallets include service payment features within their apps, helping users complete otherwise burdensome tasks within minutes using just their smartphones.

In areas where personal safety is an issue, people who traditionally carry cash can avoid the risk of being robbed or mugged by resorting to cashless digital wallets instead. 

Over the past several years, many Arab countries have started introducing e-wallet services, whether via traditional banks or new private companies regulated by governments, and it appears they're catching on.

An increasing number of users across the Middle East are reportedly discovering the values of owning and operating mobile wallets, including how easy they make Internet purchases. The UAE alone has recorded a 42% surge in online payments during 2019, amounting to about USD $55 million.

In a relatively short span, mobile wallets across the region have been springing up, indicating there's a real market for them. 

UAE

People in the UAE can now enjoy cashless services using platforms such as Emirates Digital Wallet, Noqodi and Beam.

Saudi Arabia

Besides Halalah, the digital cash offered by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, people can also create digital wallets using Sadad and Vapulus services.

Egypt

E-wallets in Egypt have been mostly offered by traditional banks in the country. Banque Misr offers the BM Wallet, while the Commercial International Bank presented its clients with the Smart Wallet service. Also, the Audi2Pay digital wallet is now available through Bank Audi.

Jordan

Jordanians have been numerous electronic wallets to choose from, including the Dinarak service, or Zain Cash that is offered by the well-known telecommunication service provider, Zain.


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