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More than half of UAE consumers set to go cashless by 2024


A cashless society is a near future for the UAE as a new study by Visa reveals 52% of UAE intend to go cashless by 2024 compared to a global average of 41%. The 2022 Back to Business Global Study by Visa reports that almost 95% of the consumers in the UAE will continue to use digital payments and thus see the benefits of a cashless society.

The study was conducted by Wakefield Research in December 2021 and surveyed small business owners (SMBs) and consumers in countries like Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, and the United States. As per the data collected from people aged 18 years or more in the aforementioned countries, the consensus outlook for 2022 in these countries is found to be one of optimism with an intent to digitalize even more. Moreover, consumers in the UAE, Brazil, and the US intends to support small business as they go more cashless.

The study also surveyed 2,250 small business owners with 100 or more employees and seven out of ten SMBs in the UAE (and 59% globally) already are or are intending to go cashless by 2024. Furthermore, these businesses plan to accept some form of digital payment in 2022, including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The new move is considered to be fundamental to their growth, owing to the fact that digital payments are the new reality with almost two-thirds of the UAE consumers (and 41% globally) depending upon cashless transactions during the pandemic.

Evidently, the pandemic has transformed the mode of doing business as almost 99% of SMBs in the UAE surveyed the hard years using e-commerce, incurring nearly 58% of their total revenue. In addition to these, the study revealed that almost 93% of SMBs in the country are optimistic about their future with consumers finding digital payment more comfortable, especially for international transactions.

According to the Visa Back to Business 2021 Outlook, in the UAE:

  • Nearly all (97% compared to 82% globally) SMBs have adjusted the way they operate their business.
  • More than four in five UAE SMBs (86%, compared to 74% globally) expect consumers to prefer contactless payments as much as, or more than, they do now — even after a vaccine is widely available.
  • The owner’s expectation for consumers to go cashless actually exceeds the percentage of UAE consumers who say that they will (77%).
  • More than nine in 10 (94%, compared to 82% globally) are optimistic about the future of their business.
  • Over three in five (62%) UAE consumers have used contactless payments whenever.
  • Far more than any other market surveyed, UAE consumers wouldn’t shop at a store that doesn’t offer a contactless way to pay (74%, compared to 47% globally).
  • Nearly all (96%, compared to 61% globally) UAE consumers are taking steps to keep their credit card clean, making them the most likely of all markets to do
  • More than any other market surveyed, UAE consumers want to ensure that new shopping measures to protect their health will not increase their vulnerability to fraud, such as shopping more online (90%, compared to 82% globally).

“Payments are no longer about simply completing a sale,” opines Shahebaz Khan, Visa’s general manager for the UAE, Bahrain, and Oman. “It’s about creating a simple and secure experience that reflects one’s brand across channels and provides utility to both the business and its customer,” he adds.

Businesses all over the world are accepting the new norms and transforming their ways, and the UAE is not any different. Starting a new business in the country requires careful consideration of the market trends and tendencies. Here in Flying Colour Business Setup, our experienced staff would help you in all queries regarding going cashless, its regulations, importance, and limitations in the UAE. Please feel free to mail your queries at or contact us at +971 4 4542366.

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