Egyptian consumers increasingly stepping away from cash, and putting trust in digital payments during COVID-19, according to 2021 Stay Secure survey
Cash on delivery payments have dropped 85% during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as consumer trust in digital payments continues to rise, according to Visa’s 2021 Stay Secure survey.
According to the study, the use of cash in Egypt continues to decline, while electronic commerce (eCommerce) and contactless payments have increased in popularity and use since the start of the pandemic.
The use of digital payments for payment online or on delivery, including chip & PIN and contactless cards, has increased almost seven-fold (690%) since the start of the pandemic.
Consumer feedback reinforces the belief that there is no reversal of this trend, with 74% of the consumers stating they are more likely to use contactless payment methods in the future.
Nearly nine in 10 consumers surveyed, or 88%, have high levels of confidence in digital payments, including contactless, mobile wallets and QR Payments, for shopping in-store and payment on delivery, an increase since the start of the pandemic.
Top reasons consumers gave for their trust in contactless include: convenience (50%); it is an innovative way to pay (47%); speed (43%); wide acceptance (43%); and seamlessness (41%).
Knowledge of the technology that protects digital payments is a driver of consumer trust. Among consumers who trust digital payments, only a fourth said their knowledge and understanding of how digital payments are protected by innovative technologies, such as tokenisation, helps them feel secure about cashless options.
Among those who do not have adequate levels of knowledge of the technology, 90% said knowing how tokenisation works would help build their confidence in digital payments and resolve lagging doubts about the safety of digital payments.
For example, 40% fear misuse of lost or stolen contactless cards due to a lack of understanding of how the technology works (25%). These findings reinforce the importance of continual education on safe digital payment practices among consumers to maintain their trust.
The survey also sheds light on consumers’ experiences with fraud. About a quarter of respondents have experienced phishing, receiving counterfeit goods, and non-receipt of goods.
In the event of fraud, consumers said that the most important actions that they are likely to take are: informing the bank (52%); customer service (36%); changing their password/PIN (36%); and deleting online profile (36%). Close to a third (32%) said they would contact law enforcement authorities in the event of fraud.
Neil Fernandes, Visa’s Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa, said, “As our survey results indicate, Egyptian consumers have fully embraced digital payments in the COVID-19 era but that does not come without risks.”
“As consumers shift online, fraudsters have sought opportunities to exploit these changes in how people pay for goods and services,” he added, “This is why constant consumer education is so much more important than ever before.”
Fernandes said the fact that consumers surveyed would contact banks and law enforcement in the event of fraud is a credit to the diligent efforts of the company’s partners in Egypt. He added that these partners are committed to keeping consumers safe, and empowering them to use digital payments and online channels with confidence.
“However, as an industry we cannot afford to let our guard down, and our Stay Secure is our effort in bringing together all participants in the payments ecosystem to work together to advance efforts to educate consumers on how to stay vigilant, identify potential fraud, and what actions they should take if they are affected,” he also said.
The survey corresponds with the launch of Visa’s “Stay Secure” social media campaign for Egypt on Facebook (@VisaMiddleEast). The campaign reinforces safe digital payment practices and reminds consumers on how they can protect personal data even as they enjoy the benefits and convenience of eCommerce and contactless payments.
The Egypt Stay Secure webpage also includes fraud prevention tips for consumers and information on security features of digital payments.