UAE consumers trust security of digital payment facilities and want to learn more, says report

Cash payments are less frequent in the UAE, with 65 per cent of shoppers citing the security of retailers’ payment facilities as reason to opt for digital payments, according to Visa’s 2022 Stay Secure survey.

The survey comes as part of the 2022 Stay Secure campaign, which marks the Department of Economy and Tourism’s and Visa’s efforts to educate consumers about both the safeties and concerns of digital payments and online transactions.

Approximately 75 per cent of consumers reported having used at least one digital payment method in the last year, with almost 50 per cent opting for such methods, especially contactless payments, more frequently.

The shift towards digital payments comes after concerns of health and safety amid the pandemic, said the report.

Of regular shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores, 49 per cent selected reliable guarantees and return policies and 45 per cent cited safety and hygiene purposes.

Frequent online shoppers also reported similar reasons to opt for online transactions over cash-on-delivery payments.

Eighty-four per cent selected security of platforms’ payment facilities and 64 per cent cited guarantees and privacy of data.

The least popular reason was price, with only 17 per cent reporting that online transactions were cheaper than cash-on-delivery options.

Eighty-five per cent of customers reported interest in knowing how their data is used prior to making online purchases, with 75 per cent wanting to learn more about the intricacies of security measures that platforms have in place.

To gain consumers’ trust, Visa recommends retailers be transparent about their guarantee and refund policies and platforms display the logos of their banking and payment partners.

Although 70 per cent of consumers reported confidence in detecting fraudulent websites and scammers, one-third of consumers said they struggle to do so.

The results of the survey have strengthened the importance of financial institutions, payment companies and governments to educate online shoppers, said the report.

“That consumers value security more than price when it comes to how their personal data is handled are important insights for merchants looking to build and maintain consumer trust in their payment offerings,” said Neil Fernandes, head of risk at Visa’s Middle East and North Africa division.

“And the fact that a third of consumers are still unable to identify a potential fraud reinforces the need for all players in the payments ecosystem to continue to work together to ensure consumers are protected.”

Preference for digital payments is expected to remain, with 79 per cent of consumers even reporting that they would switch from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping sites and mobile applications.

Mr Fernandes added, “Now in its seventh year, our Stay Secure campaign continues to be an important platform for Visa, Dubai Police and the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai, to help educate consumers about payment security and support merchants in meeting the increasing need for secure, seamless digital payments both in-store and online.”