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Payment security concerns still holding up E-Commerce growth in the Middle East

E-Commerce in the Middle East is growing fast

The Middle Eastern E-Commerce market is one of the fastest growing E-Commerce markets in the world. More and more people are adopting to modern payment methods, such as Debit Card, Credit Card, and Mobile Money Accounts. The Middle East still remains a region powered by cash, but the growth in payment methods acting as alternatives to cash point towards a positive progression to a less cash dependent region.

Cash on Delivery remains regional standard

The most popular regional payment method for E-Commerce transactions still prevails as Cash on Delivery. The cash driven Middle East lends itself to this form of payment, but the expansion of bank cards and mobile payments are set to curb Cash on Delivery and increase digital payments. Over the last year, Cash on Delivery has seen a substantial decrease in popularity, lowering its share of transactions by nearly one-third. Societal influences are not the only factor keeping cash around, but security concerns surrounding digital payments is also an important factor to take under consideration.

Security seen as a major barrier

A major hinderance to E-Commerce expansion in the Middle East is payment security. Consumers do not trust online sellers and fear payment fraud, hence the popularity of Cash on Delivery. This concern stretches beyond payment methods and goes even deeper into the use of E-Commerce services in general. In Morocco, over a quarter of survey respondents who did not shop online said that payment security concerns were one of the barriers. Bahrain also mirrors this sentiment.

The increasingly digitized Middle East is becoming more and more ready to adopt modern E-Commerce practices, but payment security concerns continue to act as an attribute constraining its potential.

For more details on this trend, see the report “Middle East and Africa Online Payment Methods 2019” by yStats.com.