The card payments market in Saudi Arabia is projected to grow by 14.60 per cent in 2023, reaching SAR 532.10 billion ($141.90 billion), according to data and analytics company GlobalData.
The growth will be mainly driven by an increasing preference for e-payments, coupled with a surge in contactless payments and the government’s sustained push for a cashless society.
Lead banking and payments analyst at GlobalData, Ravi Sharma, said: “While cash has traditionally been the preferred method of payment in Saudi Arabia, its usage is on decline in line with the rising consumer preference for electronic payments.
“This trend became more prevalent during the Covid-19 pandemic, with banks and merchants urging consumers to use non-cash payment methods to help contain the spread of the virus.
“The increasing preference for contactless payments and mandatory acceptance of electronic payments at retail stores are among the key drivers of the payment card market growth.”
The card payment value in the country soared by 29.80 per cent in 2021 and 17.30 per cent last year, following significant improvements in economic conditions and higher consumer spending.
When it comes to card preferences, debit cards represented 89 per cent of the overall Saudi card payment value in 2022, according to GlobalData.
The Saudi card payments market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.20 per cent between 2023 and 2027, poised to reach SAR 785.80 billion ($209.50 billion) at the end of the period, Global Data suggests.
The government of Saudi Arabia seeks to minimise the country’s dependence on cash, in addition to promoting electronic payments and encouraging payment innovation. It is also focusing on increasing the share of e-payments to 70 per cent of all transactions by 2025 in keeping with Vision 2030.