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Cash on delivery dominates E-Commerce payments in the Middle East and Africa

A new report from Germany-based secondary market research firm yStats.com, titled “Middle East and Africa Online Payment Methods: Full Year 2016,” tells of the E-Commerce payment methods landscape in this developing region. According to the report’s findings, cash on delivery is the top payment method used by online shoppers in most countries of the Middle East and Africa. Nevertheless, there is a great potential for alternative methods to develop, especially mobile payments.

Across the emerging markets of the Middle East and Africa, cash on delivery is used by the majority of digital consumers to pay for their online purchases. Different surveys cited in yStats.com’s report reveal that more than 50% of online shoppers in countries such as Nigeria, Kenya and the UAE prefer cash on delivery to other payment methods. E-Commerce companies operating in the Middle East and Northern Africa region report that more than two-thirds of their sales are paid in cash.


South Africa is one of the few exceptions to this rule: a higher share of digital consumers in this country pay for Internet purchases by bank card. Still, even in this country more than half of consumers say they would be willing to buy more online if they were offered the option to pay on delivery. A payment method that consumers can trust was the second major driver for online shopping in South Africa, according to a recent survey cited in yStats.com’s publication.

Nevertheless, yStats.com’s report also shows that there is hope for greater adoption of digital payment means, especially mobile payments. A two-digit share of consumers surveyed in the Middle East in 2016 admitted that they would opt for using payment methods other than cash or cards, with mobile wallets being one of the top three alternatives. Furthermore, Africa is already the leading region in mobile money usage. In Kenya, for example, there are millions of mobile money accounts and their number continues to grow. Along with Kenya, around one-third of online shoppers in Ghana and Uganda say they prefer to pay for their Internet-based purchases with mobile money.