UAE online payments trends

Nearly a fourth of UAE residents go online to shop every week and more than a third do it between one to five times every week, a new survey by Network International, a payment solutions provider shows.

Remittances, utility bills, electronic items and even high-end items such as property or cars were cited as the most frequent reasons for using the web to make payments. For day-to-day groceries, clothes and household goods however, residents preferred to use cash or cards in-store, the study found. But interestingly, one in ten UAE residents said they purchased ‘fast food’ or ‘takeaways’ on the move using a mobile device.

Asian expats (35 percent) followed by Emiratis (32 percent), Arab expats (31 percent) and Western expats (30 percent) were the most regular users of online payments. Half of those polled cited the ability to pay with a single click, followed by security and ability to purchase on the move as the top three reasons for online buying.

“As the study reveals, customers are increasingly seeking convenient and secure forms of payment alternatives. This is especially relevant in the UAE as the country is certainly way ahead of the rest of the region with its high mobile penetration, combined with its relentless drive to move towards being a smart economy,” said Bhairav Trivedi, Chief Executive Officer of Network International.

What’s also interesting is that that adults in their 30s and 40s are leading the online purchasing with 36 percent and 33 percent respectively saying they make regular online payments.

Younger residents between the age of 18 to 29 were slightly lower, with under a third (31 percent) making online purchases between one and five times a week, the study found.

The survey was conducted online by YouGov, using a sample size of over 1000 people.