Though online payments with credit cards are growing in the Middle East and Africa, cash on delivery remains a dominant payment method in many countries of the region. This is one of the findings of a new report by Germany-based secondary market research firm yStats.com. The report, titled “Middle East and Africa Online Payment Methods: Full Year 2015”, also reveals that mobile payments are on the rise across the region.
While credit card is the payment method most used by online shoppers worldwide, in many emerging markets of the Middle East and Africa cash on delivery is still more popular. In countries such as Egypt, Nigeria, the UAE and Saudi Arabia this method was used by more than 50% of online shoppers to pay for purchases made over the Internet in 2015, as revealed in a new report by yStats.com. Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions to this trend, such as in South Africa where the majority of online transactions were paid with credit or check card. Moreover, in Morocco, the number and value of online payment transactions made with credit cards is growing rapidly, though cash on delivery still leads in usage.
Another popular alternative to credit card payments in the Middle East and Africa is mobile payment. Low banking penetration and growing mobile phone penetration rates in Africa are driving the use of this innovative payment method. Kenya is the regional leader in mobile payments, with mobile payment users accounting for more than two thirds of the country’s population in 2015. Also in Nigeria, payment transactions made with mobile phones were growing at triple-digit rates last year. A number of new mobile payment solutions were launched in Africa in 2015, including BlackBerry’s BBM and WeChat’s mobile wallet to rival local solutions such as MFS Africa and M-Pesa. In wealthier Middle Eastern states mobile payments are also gaining pace, with more than half of Internet users surveyed in mid-2015 declaring their readiness to make payments via smartphones, according to the finding cited in yStats.com’s report.