Mobile payments UAE ready but consumer awareness lagging
In a far reaching report conducted by Mastercard the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a very credible 7th place, of the countries analysed, in terms of being ready for mobile payments although actual penetration and consumer awareness is lagging.
The UAE comes ahead of Saudi Arabia and the UK, 8th and 9th respectively and is well ahead of other countries such as Germany 19th, France 23rd and Egypt 24th in terms of being prepared for mobile payments. The Mastercard report states: “As an established hub of money transfer, with favourable regulations and explicit government acknowledgement of the importance of mobile payments, the infrastructure and environment in the UAE present a favourable picture.”
As well as the infrastructure being in place earlier this year Mastercard and Etisalat won the Mobile Money Innovation at the Global Mobile Awards which are basically the Oscars of the mobile industry.
So what exactly are mobile payments, other than being a cool way to pay, and why should you take notice?
Mobile payment is an alternative payment method. Instead of paying with cash, cheque, or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile phone to pay for a wide range of services and digital or hard goods.
The four core components promoted by the industry are; speed, insight, secure and convenient.
Speed – just a tap with your mobile phone against an approval apparatus within the store.
Insight - A spending alert popping up before you make a payment on your phone is harder to ignore than a credit card statement at the end of the month.
Secure – According to the industry mobile payments will actually be more secure than traditional credit cards!
Convenient – We all carry our mobile phones. But more than just being able to leave our wallets and purses at home, mobile payments can also be better linked with your loyalty program to help accumulate rebates, etc. and also give you improved visibility of your purchases and accounts to allow you to keep a running tab on your spending and finances.
The promise of mobile payments and the UAE’s favorable regulations may make the market very attractive for new entrants; consumers would be well advised to shop around in order to get the best deal available. Competition is good, it helps keep the costs low and the quality high and best of all mobile payments looks ideal for money management.
Have you used mobile payments or plan to switch to them soon? If not what is your biggest barrier to using mobile payments?
Pic credit: Mastercard