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The mobile payments landscape in the Middle East & Africa is slowly evolving, with digital wallets forecasted to be the most popular payment method by 2025

The latest publication from the German desk research firm yStats.com, “Middle East & Africa Mobile Payments Method 2022“, provides comprehensive insights into the current trends and developments within the market. Among other findings, the publication reveals the forecasts regarding the preferred payment method in the region by 2025 as well as the growth in the number of mobile wallets between 2020 and 2025.

Digital wallets to experience steady growth within Middle East & Africa

With a surge in the adoption and use of mobile payments, such as digital wallets worldwide, Middle East & Africa are no exception to this growing trend. The Middle East & Africa also witnessed a growth in its number of mobile wallet users, with mobile wallet user penetration increasing notably in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Nigeria, as revealed by the new yStats.com report. Furthermore, more than one-half of the surveyed payments practitioners operating in the Middle East & Africa expect that digital wallets will likely be the most preferred payment method by 2025, surpassing other methods such as credit/debit cards, bank transfers, and cash, according to a survey cited in the new yStats.com report. Additionally, the number of mobile wallets used in the region is forecasted to reach a certain number in the millions by 2025. Although the year-on-year growth rate of the number of mobile wallets in use is projected to gradually decline, the growth in absolute numbers is expected to be consistent from 2020 to 2025, as revealed by the new yStats.com report. Africa is also experiencing growth in its mobile payment transactions, with Western and Eastern Africa driving this growth. The mobile money transactions that took place in these zones saw a double-digit Y-O-Y growth rate in 2021, while the region of Northern Africa saw a relatively low growth rate in terms of mobile money transactions.

UAE and Saudi Arabia are expected to push the growth of mobile wallets in the region

The mobile wallet market in the Middle East and Africa is maturing gradually, with countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt driving the growth. The mobile wallet user penetration in the UAE is forecasted to increase rapidly between 2020 and 2025, with more than one-third of the population in the country making use of mobile wallets by 2025, as revealed by the new yStats.com report. Furthermore, the digital payment transaction value is projected to nearly double between 2020 to 2030, reaching a value of certain billions of Euros by 2030. The mobile wallet transactions in both volume and value are also forecasted to witness a double-digit CAGR growth rate between 2020 and 2025. In 2021, digital wallets were the most favored payment method after cards, with more than three-quarters of the surveyed merchants viewing the adoption of digital payments as an investment, as per a survey cited in the latest yStats.com report. A similar trend is observed in Saudi Arabia as the percentage of mobile wallet users is forecasted to more than double between 2020 and 2025 with massive growth projected in sales value. The volume of mobile wallet transactions in Saudi Arabia is forecasted to witness a CAGR of more than 100% between 2020 and 2025, according to the new yStats.com report.