According to research conducted by Moody’s analytics on behalf of Visa, growth in the use of debit and credit cards in the region between 2008 and 2012 has made a significant contribution towards the economy. Furthermore, the electronic payment product usage added around USD18bn (Dh66bn) to the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region in the same period.
The study revealed that growth in absolute terms of the use of credit and debit cards across the Middle Eastern and African economies added USD 4.7bn to GDP of Saudi Arabia, USD7.8bn to GDP of South Africa, USD1.2bn of GDP to Kuwait and USD0.4bn to Qatar’s GDP between 2008 and 2012.
Kamran Siddiqi, Visa General Manager for Middle East and North Africa said, “We can see from the data that the positive impact in economic growth is a direct result of card usage and is tied to the benefits electronic payments offer, including enhanced security, convenience of operating without cash or checks, increased efficiency at checkout and a reduction in the grey economy.”
A SmartDebit spokesperson commented, “There is no denying the benefits that electronic payments are having on economies across the globe. The increasing electronic payment product usage will increase competition, produce more innovative solutions whilst supporting businesses and public sector organisations in their bid for optimum efficiency.”
He continues, “This report comes after news that the UAE are looking to implement a new Direct Debit scheme, with a pilot programme expected to begin later this year. Essentially, electronic payments are quick, secure, and cost efficient as well as helping to increase consumer consumption levels.”
Electronic payments contributed USD983bn to the GDP of the 56 countries examined over the four-year period.
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