RIYADH: Digital payment penetration is continuing its high growth in Saudi Arabia, as a report reveals more than one in ten Saudis spend money online at least once a day via e-commerce platforms.
According to global payment solutions provider Checkout.com’s report titled ‘Digital Transformation in MENA 2022’, Saudis who prefer cash for payments reduced from 27 percent in 2021 to 20 percent in 2022.
The report further noted that 91 percent of Saudi shoppers regularly buy from e-commerce platforms, and 14 percent of them shop at least once per day.
Some 78 percent of consumers in Saudi Arabia who took part in the survey said they will maintain or increase their current level of e-commerce spending into 2023.
The popularity of digital wallets is also steadily increasing in Saudi Arabia, as 26 percent of consumers consider these payment platforms the most preferred method for e-commerce, a near doubling of the figures from 2021.
Some 10 percent of the participants said that Buy Now Pay Later is their most preferred payment method for online shopping.
The report further added that consumers between the age of 25 and 45 have significantly less attachment to cash on delivery, while it is the youngest and oldest shoppers who rely on this payment method.
“The Kingdom is the largest economy in the Middle East, with a mature retail sector and a relatively affluent, digitally savvy population that is moving in the direction of digital payments steadily,” said Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, senior vice president for MENA at Checkout.com.
He added: “The growing trust in online payments by shoppers means the digital transformation of the region’s retail sector is well underway.”
Saudi Arabia’s youth population has a growing affinity toward crypto currencies post the appointment of Mohsen AlZahrani by Saudi Arabia’s central bank to lead the Kingdom’s virtual assets and central digital currency program.
The report revealed that 44 percent of Saudis aged between 18 and 40 have held digital assets such as crypto, stablecoins and NFTs, while 54 percent of them would like to be able to pay for goods and services in crypto or stablecoins in the next 12 months.