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Middle East and Africa Online Payment Methods 2021


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Countries Covered: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UAE

Pages: 74

Publication Date: 15/07/2021

Questions Covered in the report:

  • How did COVID-19 impact online and mobile payments in the Middle East and Africa?
  • What was the usage change of mobile money in various regions in Africa during COVID-19?
  • What are the top emerging payment methods to be used next year in Saudi Arabia?
  • What were the value and volume of online payments made via Moroccan cards?
  • What were the top forms of transactions made via smartphones in Israel in 2021?

Key Findings:

Middle Eastern and African shoppers progressively adopted online payments, especially post-COVID-19: new yStats.com report.

After the onset of COVID-19, electronic payments globally have been gaining momentum, encouraging consumers to learn more about them

The online payments industry worldwide continues to progress, especially strongly after the COVID-19 onset in 2020. Common payment methods remain credit and debit cards, preferred by 62% and 53%of consumers surveyed, respectively. Another common payment form – QR code, however, was projected to decline in share from nearly 50% in 2020 to 40% in 2025. This is due to the acceleration of features such as card acceptance via NFC smartphones that are to become easier to adopt. Another alternative payment technology gaining momentum currently globally is a cryptocurrency, as more and more consumers are warming to the idea of adopting this alternative payment form. Namely, over 60% of millennials became more open to cryptocurrency in 2021 compared to the year before and over 70% were interested in learning more about it. And despite the progress in alternate payment technology, cybercrime is still widespread in E-Commerce. The value of losses due to digital retail fraud was expected to increase to more than USD 20 billion in 2021.

Consumers in the Middle East and Africa progressively adopted online payments in 2020, considering using new emerging payment forms in the next year

The adoption of digital payments in the Middle East and Africa progressed in 2020 after the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown, encouraging consumers to change their payment and shopping behavior. Consumers in the region were open to trying new emerging payments such as cryptocurrency, biometrics, QR code, and others as these payment forms were fast, secure, and contactless. More than a half of consumers surveyed in the MENA region considered using cryptocurrency in the next year and over 60% of them were more open to using them than the previous year. With regard to shopping channels, the most preferred in MENA even after the relaxation of social distancing measures was “mobile phone/smartphone”, followed by PC and Tablet. In Africa, shoppers also adopted mobile payments considerably, namely, an increase in mobile money transaction volume in 2020 was seen all over the continent, with Eastern Africa dominating.

Generally, different factors impacted the online payment adoption in the various countries of the two regions. In UAE over 70% of consumers opted for online payments as a way to save money. In Saudi Arabia, shoppers mostly consider better prices when choosing online shopping platforms and only slightly above 30% of shoppers were concerned about contact-free payment options. In Israel, on the other hand, more than 50% of consumers preferred shopping online due to lower risks of COVID-19 infection in 2020.

In South Africa and Egypt, card payments were one of the most common payment forms. In the former country, the value of card payments is projected to increase through 2024, while in Egypt the number of issued electronic cards exceeded the 40 million milestones in December 2020.

Card payments were also popular in Morocco, where locally issued cards prevail over well-known international plastic in transaction value, which rose to over MAD 4 billion (about EUR 400 million) in the first 9 months of 2020, while online payments value with a foreign card declined compared to 2019, reaching slightly above MAD 225 million (over EUR 21 million) in the first 9 months of 2020.

Mobile payment is also an alternative method growing in acceptance in the Middle East and Africa. Namely, in Jordan, the mobile payment volume increased throughout the year, to total over 1 million transactions in December 2020. In Kenya also the number of mobile payments continued to grow and equaled over 60 million at the beginning of 2021.

1. Management Summary

2. Global Developments

  • Value of Digital Wallet Spending, in USD trillion, 2020 & 2025f
  • Number of Digital Wallet Users, in billions, 2020 & 2025f
  • Value of Mobile Commerce Transactions, in USD trillion, 2020 & 2025f
  • Cash Usage in Emerging Markets, by Countries, in % of Total Transactions Volume, 2010 & 2020e
  • Cash Usage in Mature Markets, by Countries, in % of Total Transactions Volume, 2010 & 2020e
  • Share of Contactless and E-Commerce Payments, in % of Total Digital Wallet Spend, 2025f
  • Number of QR Code Payment Users, in billions, 2020e & 2025f
  • Share of QR Code Payment Users, in % of All Mobile Phone Users, 2025f
  • Value of Instant Payments, in USD trillion, 2020e & 2025f
  • Share Instant Payments, in % of Total B2B and Consumer Digital Money Transfer and Banking Payments Value, 2025f
  • Value of Mobile Payment Transactions Authenticated via Biometrics, in USD trillion, 2020 & 2025f
  • Share of Adults Who Expected Digital Payment Options being Offered When Shopping In-Person, in %, and Particular Digital Payment Options Expected, in % of Adults, November 2020
  • Breakdown of Blockchain Usage Cases, in %, 2021e
  • Top Online Payment Methods, in % of Respondents, August 2020
  • Top Payment Methods Consumers Consider Using In the Next Year, in % of Consumers, March 2021
  • Top Payment Methods Available, by B2C and B2B, in % of Payment Decision-Makers, 2020
  • Share of Mobile Commerce Transaction Value, in % of Overall E-Commerce Transaction Value, 2021e & 2025f
  • Share of QR Code Payments, in % of All Digital Wallet Transactions, 2020 & 2025f
  • Perception of Cryptocurrency, in % of Millennial Consumers, March 2021
  • Top Payments Methods For Fraud Actions, in % of Fraud & Payment Professionals, August 2020
  • Value of Losses Due to E-Commerce Fraud, in USD billion, 2020 & 2021e
  • Number of Users Making Online Payment With Facial Recognition, in billions, 2020 & 2025f
  • Number of Users Who Will Be Confirming Transactions With Voice Recognition, in millions, 2020 & 2025f

3. Middle East & Africa


  • COVID-19 Impact on Online & Mobile Payment, July 2021
  • Share of Adults Who Plan to Use Cryptocurrency as a Payment Method in the Next Year, in %, March 2021
  • Share of Adults Who Were More Open to Using Cryptocurrency Than a Year Ago, in %, March 2021
  • Share of Adults Who Would Avoid Businesses That Don’t Accept Electronic Payments, in %, March 2021
  • Share of Adults Who Prefer to Shop More at Omnichannel Businesses, in %, March 2021
  • Change in Usage of Shopping Channels When Social Distancing/Social Isolation Measures Are Removed, in % of Respondents, 2020
  • Overview of Mobile Money Statistics, incl. Number of Live Services, Registered Accounts, in millions, Active Accounts, in millions, Transaction Volume, in millions, & Y-o-Y Growth, in %, by Sub-Region, 2020
  • Total Investment Raised by African FinTech, in USD million, 2019 & 2020e
  • Breakdown of Funds Invested in Equity-Funded Verticals, in % of Total, 2020

4. Middle East


  • Share of Consumers Who Claimed That Digital Payments Help Them Save Money, in %, March 2021
  • Share of Consumers Who Use Cards or Digital Wallets to Pay Online, in %, 2020
  • Breakdown of Perceived Online Purchases’ Frequency Change after COVID-19, in % of Merchants with an E-Commerce Platform, 2020
  • Average Spend per Online Payment Transaction, in USD, May 2017 – April 2018, May 2018 – April 2019 & May 2019 – April 2020

4.2.Saudi Arabia

  • Share of Adults Who Considered Using Emerging Payments, in %, March 2021
  • Top Emerging Payment Methods To Be Used in the Next Year, in % of Adults, March 2021
  • Top Selection Criteria When Choosing Online Shopping Platform, in % of Consumers, August 2020


  • Top Financial Transactions Performed on Payment Platforms via a Smartphone, in % of Adults, 2018, 2019 & 2020


  • Volume of Transactions Made via Mobile Payment Systems, in millions, March 2020 – December 2020
  • Share of Transactions via Mobile Payment Systems, by Type, in % of Total Transactions, 2020
  • Year-on-Year Change of the Transaction Volume Via Mobile Payment Systems, in %, January 2020 – December 2020

5. Africa

5.1. South Africa

  • Value of B2C E-Commerce, in ZAR billion, 2018 & 2020
  • Card Payments Value, in ZAR trillion, and Year-on-Year Change, in %, 2016 – 2024f
  • Share of Consumers Shopping More Online Since the COVID-19 Onset, in %, November 2020

5.2. Egypt

  • Volume of Electronic Transactions, in millions, March 2020 & October 2020
  • Volume of Electronic Payment Cards, in millions, December 2017 & December 2020
  • Number of Debit and Credit Cards, in millions, December 2017 & December 2020

5.3. Nigeria

  • Electronic Payment Transactions, incl. Number, in millions, and Value, in NGN billion, by Type, August 2020

5.4. Morocco

  • Value of Electronic Banking Transactions, in MAD billion, and Volume, in millions, First 9 Months of 2019 & First 9 Months of 2020
  • Breakdown of Card Payments, by Category, in % of Total Volume, September 2020
  • Value of Online Payments via Moroccan Cards, in MAD billion, and Volume, in millions, H1 2019 & First 9 months of 2020
  • Value of Online Payments via Foreign Cards, in MAD billion, and Volume, in millions, H1 2019 & First 9 months of 2020
  • Number of Online Payment Transactions, in millions, and Value, in MAD million, by Transactions with Moroccan Cards, Foreign Cards and Total, 9 months 2017 – 9 months 2020

5.5. Kenya

  • Mobile Payment Statistics, incl. Number of Transactions, in millions, Value of Transactions, in KES Billion, Number of Accounts, in millions, and Number of Agents, in thousands, 2015 – 2020 & Jan – Apr 2021
  • American Express
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Klarna
  • PayPal

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