The Role of Online Payment Methods in MENA

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Both the means and infrastructure for making digital payments are progressing quickly across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Over the previous year, around 85% of people have used a modern online payment method, whereas only 19% have reduced their reliance on cash.

New payment methods are being used at an ever-increasing rate by customers in the MENA area, fueling the expansion of the territory's electronic payment ecosystem. So, what is the role of online payment methods in MENA? Let us find out.




Only users in the MENA area can use the CashU payment system. CashU is accepted by hundreds of Middle Eastern vendors and merchants, connecting them to countless youthful online shoppers within the Levant, North Africa, and the GCC.

CashU is essentially a prepaid debit card. The prepaid cards are accepted at various retailers around MENA, allowing customers to load funds onto those cards in cash before using them to complete online purchases. People in nations including Saudi Arabia, where credit card use is restricted and many residents worry about the safety of online purchases, have shown a strong preference for this card.




In the past year, PayPal has released an Arabic mobile app. It has been reported that PayPal currently holds a 5% portion of the e-commerce business in the region.

PayPal is widely used by many online shoppers as many stores in MENA accept payments through PayPal. Shopping isn't the only thing that people in MENA can do. Punters can use PayPal when wagering in online casinos for real money. This is thanks to PayPal's stated intention to launch several fresh innovations tailored to the locale and to form partnerships with financial institutions in the area. Many people in that area find PayPal to be a convenient payment method.


Debit Cards


Many financial organizations and banks in the area refrain from offering credit cards due to Islamic regulations concerning interest and credit. This is largely why debit cards have become so widespread. Customers can still use their debit cards online at merchants accepting Mastercard and VISA.

Unlike credit cards, which Islam forbids due to charges and other practices, debit cards offer numerous of the same conveniences without requiring Muslims to violate their religious beliefs. The customer disadvantages of debit cards comprise the inability to spend more than is available in their account.

They also lack the fraud protection standard when using a credit card while making online purchases. Debit cards offer various advantages over credit cards for online merchants, including faster access to funds and more incredible difficulty for customers to dispute charges.


Digital Wallets


Customers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area are adopting digital wallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, and this trend is expected to continue. It is predicted that by the end of 2023, 4.4 billion customers worldwide will use a digital wallet, making them an indispensable tool for online and in-store shopping.

Shoppers and merchants alike can benefit from the convenience of digital wallets. Digital wallets will inevitably become the norm as our culture gradually adopts the concept of a cashless society. In the Middle East and North Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is notable for being an early follower of the cash-free society concept.


Account-to-Account Transactions


When consumers link their accounts with different services, such as bill pay, and recurring online purchases, it allows for a more flexible strategy for electronic payments. According to 81% of customers in MENA countries, their usage of A2A transactions has either risen or remained constant in the last year.

The ability to rearrange the due date of monthly family expenses is just one more perk of Account-to-Account transfers. Those with inconsistent incomes can finally breathe a sigh of relief.


Final Thoughts


The methods available for online purchases in MENA vary greatly from those in other parts of the globe. Undoubtedly, as the e-commerce market continues to expand, a greater proportion of shoppers will prefer to do their shopping from the comfort of their homes. Some forms of payment may predominate across MENA as consumers seek out the most convenient options accessible in their own countries.





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