Data Reveals Digital Payments in MENA Region and Pakistan have Nearly Doubled after COVID

A report released earlier this week by reveals that digital commerce and online payments are on track for major growth next year.

Internal data indicates that digital payment transfers have almost doubled in the MENA region since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The e-commerce and digital payment sectors in the MENA area and in Asian countries like Pakistan (with a fast-growing freelance worker economy) are expected to grow dramatically in 2021. As noted by, almost half of consumers in this region will be shopping more frequently online., a leading global payments solution provider, noted in its report (titled “Connected Payments in MENA and Pakistan or MENAP”) that the region has relied heavily on cash payments and still does to a great extent. But there could be a major growth opportunity for the digital or online payments sector as the region’s consumers now prefer to make virtual payments when purchasing products from e-commerce stores (instead of cash on delivery).

The report from released the results of a regional survey, which included feedback from over 5,000 residents (in September 2020) from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Pakistan.

Almost half (or 47%) of the consumers in these countries said they are planning to shop more frequently online instead of visiting physical stores because it might be more convenient and a lot safer in a post COVID world.

Only 15% of the consumers surveyed said they might not be shopping as much online next year. Around 38% said they expect to continue shopping online about as much as they are right now.

Sebastian Reis, EVP of global e-commerce,, stated:

“While there has been a sudden surge in e-commerce and digital payments this year due to the impact of Covid-19, our report suggests what we are seeing today is more than a temporary change in consumer behavior. Our internal data shows an 86% increase in digital payment transactions on our platform since the start of the pandemic in the region.”

Digital payments are increasingly being adopted throughout the world. Visa recently announced it would provide seamless access to curated Fintech partners which will offer digital payments services to financial institutions.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp was finally approved to fully launch digital payments services in India. In other Asian countries like the Philippines, ATM withdrawals and check payments have declined as digital transactions have increased significantly following the COVID-19 outbreak.

As covered recently, money transfers via Fintech platforms have surged in the US due to the increased adoption of digital banking platforms, according to a new report.

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