Cairo, Egypt, 28 July 2021: Egyptian consumers are increasingly stepping away from cash and putting their trust in digital payments in both in-store and online environments during the pandemic, according to the 2021 Stay Secure survey launched today by Visa.
Cash is unlikely to return to its previous high level of use
According to the study, the use of cash in Egypt continues to decline. While eCommerce and contactless payments have increased in popularity and use since the start of the pandemic, paying by Cash on Delivery (COD) has declined significantly (85%). The use of digital payments (chip & PIN + contactless cards) for payment online or on delivery 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.
Trust driving consumer preference in contactless and digital payments, but some concerns remain
Nearly nine in 10 consumers surveyed (88%) have high levels of confidence in digital payments (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%), innovative way to pay (47%), speed (43%), wide acceptance (43%) and seamless (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 tokenization helps them feel secure about cashless options.
Among those who do not have adequate levels of knowledge of the technology, 90% said knowing how tokenization 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.
Consumers' experience with fraud
The survey also sheds light on consumers' experiences with fraud. About a quarter (25%) have experienced phishing, receiving counterfeit goods and non-receipt of goods. In the event of fraud, informing the bank (52%), customer service (36%), changing their password/PIN (36%) and deleting online profile (36%) are the most important actions consumers are likely to take. 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, commented, "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. This is why constant consumer education is so much more important than ever before. The fact that consumers surveyed would contact banks and law enforcement in the event of fraud is a credit to the diligent efforts of our partners in Egypt who 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. 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."
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.