UAE residents prefer cash payments, says Network International
Cash was the top payment method for UAE residents in 10 out of 12 purchase categories ranging from groceries through to school fees.
Cash is the preferred payment method of UAE residents for goods and services, according to a new survey released on Tuesday by payment solutions provider Network International.
Cash was the top payment method for UAE residents in 10 out of 12 purchase categories ranging from groceries through to school fees. Credit cards were the next most frequently used payment method, followed by debit cards, prepaid cards and other payment methods including cheques and online banking.
The Network International survey found that UAE residents perceive cash to be quicker, safer and offering more control on spending than using a debit or credit card. The survey was conducted in the second quarter of 2015, covering a sample size of 1,020 UAE residents - both UAE citizens and expats - living in all seven Emirates of the UAE. Surveyed online by YouGov, the findings provide great insights into the spending behavior of UAE residents, especially with regards to the method of payments. The survey found that only one in six residents, or 15 per cent, use a debit card 2-3 times a week and just 12 per cent use a debit card four or more times a week. More than 50 per cent UAE residents said they only use their debit card once or less than once a week.
Credit cards are used more frequently by UAE residents, with 17 per cent using a card 2-3 times a week and 16 per cent using their card more than four times a week. Just over a third (37 per cent) said they use a credit card once or less than once a week.
The survey indicated that Western residents are the most frequent users of debit cards, with 30 per cent using their cards between 2-5 times a week. Arab expats were the next most frequent debit card users (23 per cent), followed by Asians (18 per cent) and Emiratis (17 per cent). Asian residents were the most frequent users of credit cards with 25 per cent using a credit card between 2-5 times a week, followed by Arab expats (22 per cent), Westerners (25 per cent) and Emiratis (18 per cent).
More than a fifth of UAE residents, or 22 per cent, said they do not have a debit card rising to 29 per cent who do not have a credit card. Bhairav Trivedi, chief executive officer of Network International, commented: "Cash is clearly still king for UAE residents which is certainly unique to the region and a contrast to other global trade centres where cashless transactions are more prevalent."
"This is not a new trend, but it is certainly at odds with the UAE's adoption of new technologies and drive to be a leader on innovation," Trivedi explained.
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