Electronic Payments Gain Ground in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi and Middle East market for payment cards, including credit and debit cards, is enjoying strong growth according to Ahmed Gaber, country manager for Saudi Arabia at Visa.

Visa’s total transactions across all payment cards in Saudi Arabia in 2013 amounted to over 518m riyals (SAR) or US$138m.

“The Kingdom registered a record overall growth of 43% in e-commerce in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period last year, making it the highest growth rate in the Middle East and North Africa [MENA] region” Gaber told
Arab News
in an interview.

At the end of 2013 the total number of Visa cards in circulation in Saudi Arabia, including debit credit commercial and prepaid cards was over 11.36m, marking year-on-year (YoY) growth of 13%. Against this background Visa recently launched a month-long risk awareness campaign for consumers in Saudi Arabia under the slogan ‘Be Card Wise and Be Card Safe’.

The campaign is designed to highlight Visa’s security and fraud prevention initiatives and educate consumers on how they can protect themselves when using electronic payment cards at all points of sale including both online and offline transactions.

Gaber said that Visa is supporting the electronic payments trend in the region by aggressively leading educational and brand building programmes, including efforts to open debit bank identification numbers (BINs) for online transactions.

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