Global electronic payments company, Visa, has released the results of its “Be Safe” survey, highlighting the impact the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on payment methods among Egyptian consumers.
The study indicated that 44% of survey respondents in Egypt have, since the beginning of the pandemic, stopped going shopping at physical stores. When Egyptian consumers do shop in stores, approximately 43% of respondents reported they use cash payment less, indicating an increase in the rate of digital payments users.
Visa explained that there has been a 78% increase in contactless payment users, and a 44% increase in QR code users. At the same time, there has been an 80% increase in the number of consumers who shop via the Internet, and a 20% increase in the number of consumers who pay online through cards and e-wallets.
Regarding innovative payment technologies, such as contactless payment and QR codes, the study indicated that 86% of consumers trust contactless transaction technology. A total of 69% said that they trust QR Code payments, pointing out that safety, speed, comfort and limited human contact were the primary reasons for their switch. The report highlighted the consumers’ growing preference for digital payment solutions.
The study clarified that these shifts in consumer behaviour caused by the global pandemic are expected to become the “new normal”, as consumers gain more confidence in digital payment methods. A total of 85% of current online shoppers surveyed believe that they will continue shopping online more following the pandemic. A total of 82% said that they will continue to choose online payment methods using a card or digital wallet.
As for in-store purchases, 57% said that they would use the QR code payment method, with 83% saying they would use contactless cards more after the outbreak.
Ahmed Gaber, General Manager of Visa North Africa, said that Visa’s survey shows that changes in Egyptian consumer behaviour due to the pandemic are likely to continue even after it has come to an end. He noted that this is due to the significant shift towards online shopping and the increase in the use of digital payments.
This is important for companies setting consumer and market strategies in general following the coronavirus crisis.
Gaber pointed out that, with the increase in usage among experienced users who will be using it for the first time, hackers are keen to take advantage of the increased activity. This is especially for first-time online shoppers, highlighting the need for consumer awareness programmes highlighting them on safe payment behaviour. The awareness programme would also highlight how they can protect their personal data in the payment ecosystem, which is crucial both now and in the future.