Egyptian consumers go cashless as trust in digital payments surges amid COVID-19: Visa survey

  • ·       Current pandemic climate: for in-store purchases, 86% of consumers trust contactless technology and 69% trust QR code payments; 80% of online shoppers in Egypt are shopping online more with 20% using cards more over cash on delivery (COD);

    ·       Post-COVID-19 outlook: 83% will continue to use contactless more in-store and 57% will use QR code payments more; over 80% will continue to shop online more and opt for paying online versus COD for future eCommerce purchases;


    By ; Nelly All

    The world’s leader in digital payments, Visa (NYSE: V), today released findings of a survey on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on payment behavior of consumers in Egypt. Visa’s “Stay Secure” survey also looks at consumers’ general views, preferences and concerns related to digital payments and offers key insights for merchants.


    COVID-19: Impact on Consumer Payment Behavior and Trust

    Forty-four percent of respondents surveyed in Egypt have reduced shopping in-store since the outbreak of the pandemic.  When they do shop at stores, almost half of the respondents (43%) are using less cash while those who use digital payments reported increase in usage. Eight percent of chip and PIN users reported increase in usage; 78% of contactless users reported increase in usage; and 44% of QR code payment users reported increase. For online shoppers surveyed, 80% are shopping online more and with around 20% saying they are paying online with cards or digital wallets more than with COD.

    On innovative payment technologies such as contactless and QR code payment, 86% of consumers trust contactless technology and 69% said they trust QR code payments. Security, speed, convenience and limited human contact, were the top reasons cited for consumers’ increasing preference for these payment solutions.

    The New Normal?

    These shifts in consumer behavior caused by the pandemic are expected to be the “new normal” as more consumers gain confidence in digital payments. Eighty-five percent of current online shoppers surveyed believe they will continue to shop online more post the pandemic, with 82% saying they will continue to opt more for paying online with card or digital wallet over COD. For in-store purchases, 57% said they will use QR code payment more in-store post the pandemic and 83% said they will continue to use contactless cards more.

    Ahmed Gaber, Visa’s GM for North Africa, commented: “Visa’s Stay Secure survey shows Egyptian consumer behavior changes due to the pandemic – such as shifting online and increasing use of digital payments, are likely to continue even after the pandemic – an important take-away for businesses developing strategies for the post-COVID-19 consumer and market overall. And with increased usage both among experienced and first-time users, cybercriminals too are keen to capitalize on the increased activity and vulnerability, especially of first-time online shoppers. That is why educating consumers about safe payment behavior and protecting them and the payments ecosystem is critical not only now but also as we move forward and adapt to the new normal.”

    Enhancing Online UX and Reducing Cart Abandonments: Key Insights for Merchants

    Only (13%) of Egyptian consumers surveyed have abandoned their online shopping cart because of authentication delays or failure. Of those with authentication delays/failure, 74% try again after some time, 37% purchased from other sites, 27% purchased from a nearby store, and 30% dropped the idea of purchasing the product altogether. For 88% of respondents, an authentication process that doesn’t require them to enter one-time-passcode (OTP) for standard and recurrent transactions would be more convenient; 88% would trust a more seamless process.

    Merchants seeking to deliver an enhanced online experience for customers can now adopt Visa Secure (previously known as Verified by Visa), an updated program to help make online payments more secure and seamless. It uses the latest EMV 3-D Secure (3DS) specification, which leverages fraud-detection intelligence working behind the scenes to verify cardholder identity and block unauthorized transactions.


    The survey provides further insights on how merchants can build trust in eCommerce sites. The following emerged as the top “confidence builders” by consumers surveyed: displaying verified customer reviews (49%); ease of refunds (39%); trust badges/security icons (37%); offering payment options in local currency (35%); offering a wide range of payment options (31%); and SSL certificate (13%).

    Stay Secure Tips for Consumers

    Some of Visa’s key recommendations to help consumers to protect themselves from potential fraud: (i) shop at well-known eCommerce sites, (ii) avoid using unsecured and public WiFi connection for transactions, (iii) look for the ‘s’ after ‘http’ in website addresses to confirm that a site offers (SSL) protection, (iv) update your passwords with a strong password unique to each account or switch to fingerprint or facial recognition where possible; (v) log out when leaving a website, especially if using a public computer; (vi) never share your personal account information on social media, over email, phone or chat; (vii) be wary of unsolicited and suspicious emails, SMS or phone calls; do not click on any links or download files if in doubt; (viii) install the latest software on devices; and (ix) track and review account statements.

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