Cashless transactions boom in Oman


Electronic payment channels, such as credit and debit cards and tappable smartphone mobile wallets, are rising in popularity in Oman, according to the country’s central bank.

Card payment transactions rose by 15 per cent, from 66 per cent in 2019 to 81 per cent last year, while ATM withdrawals dropped by 7 per cent during the same period.

Online payment transactions in the country more than doubled last year, as per Euromonitor International’s Muscat in Oman report.

An initiative to foster electronic methods in the country launched on January 1, and saw several merchants accept only cashless payments.

The move, in alignment with the digitalisation agenda of Oman’s Vision 2040, has been divided into stages. The first targets a range of small stores, such as jewellery shops, electronic outlets and builders’ merchants, and select restaurants and cafes.

To ensure a smooth transition to non-cash payments, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Investment Promotion announced that all essential facilities will be supplied at no extra cost.

E-transactions incur charges, however. Fees associated with credit cards are capped at 1.5 per cent of the billed amount.

The limit via mobile wallets is 0.75 per cent.

Oman’s e-commerce market is expected to grow progressively at a compound annual growth rate of 21.6 per cent until 2027, says a Mordor Intelligence report.