- Consumer education campaign to promote safe online shopping habits and protection against different types of payment-related frauds
- Survey reveals Kuwait’s key online shopping and card security trends
Kuwait City, Kuwait; May 15, 2017: Global payments technology company, Visa (NYSE:V), today launched an educational campaign to promote a safe and secure payments ecosystem in Kuwait.
To help people stay safe when shopping online, Visa surveyed consumers in Kuwait to understand their experiences, attitudes and behaviors regarding e-commerce and digital payments.
Amit Vij, Kuwait Country Manager at Visa, said: “This campaign provides an educational platform to support the ongoing development of the country’s electronic payments ecosystem. Keeping consumers safe and secure from different types of payment-related frauds, whether they are shopping online or in a traditional retail setting, is a strategic priority for us, and we are delighted to deliver this important initiative for Kuwait.”
Enormous popularity of online shopping
The Visa-commissioned survey found that four-fifths (80%) of people in Kuwait are frequent online shoppers, with approximately a third (29%) using e-commerce sites every day. The frequency was high across the board, regardless of age, gender, income or ethnicity. However, the biggest online spenders were 46-55-year-olds and those earning above KWD3,000.
Consumer goods and travel and entertainment categories are driving the popularity of online shopping in Kuwait. The most popular goods and services are electronics (52 per cent) followed by clothing (48 per cent), groceries (39 per cent), restaurant orders (35 per cent), movie tickets (35 per cent) and hotel bookings (34 per cent). Flight bookings (32 per cent) are also highly popular with Kuwait’s online shoppers.
Unlocking Kuwait’s full e-commerce and cashless society opportunity
The survey identified reluctance among some consumers to pay electronically for certain goods and services they buy online. For all product categories surveyed there is a 5-14 per cent difference between consumers buying goods and services online, and then paying for them electronically. For instance, 52 per cent of respondents buy electronics online but only 41 per cent pay electronically, with the remaining 11 per cent opting for cash on delivery.
The trend is also particularly pronounced with clothes/apparels, insurance, groceries and household furniture. This discrepancy creates unnecessary friction in the system, including the inconvenience to consumers of having to take out money, and the cost to retailers of handling cash and checks.
According to the study, the explanation revolves around issues concerning product delivery and quality, both of which still need to be resolved if Kuwait’s e-commerce opportunity and cashless future is to be realized. Approximately a third of respondents (33 per cent) say they choose cash on delivery because it assures the product will arrive, while a similar number (29 per cent) want to see the product first-hand before making payment.
However, cards (83 per cent) are by far the most common way to pay online in Kuwait, but more than half of respondents (57 per cent) still regularly use cash on delivery. The high usage of cards is supported by the finding that more than three quarters of respondents (76 per cent) feel secure when using their card to make an online payment.
Moreover, Kuwait consumers are remarkably confident about shopping online, with 92 per cent reporting they would shop from unknown website. This finding, along with Kuwait’s already high use of cards, suggests the opportunity for e-commerce sites to increase online payments by card now lies in addressing an array of relatively small issues, such as faster transaction times and better customer service. More discounts and rewards would also influence 54 per cent of respondents to pay electronically when shopping online.
Meanwhile, the survey suggests that potential new opportunity for card issuers could lie in more financial flexibility and visibility for the cardholder. Being able to more easily track their spending and having the option of taking out instalment plans could both be significant triggers for consumers in Kuwait to opt for cards over cash on delivery.
A safe and secure online shopping environment
Visa encourages online shoppers to take measures to protect their card when shopping online. For instance, by not sending their card number and CVV by email or phone, with the exception of airline call centers where the CVV is shared; avoiding unfamiliar websites; not entering card details on suspicious promotions that seem too good to be true; and activating tools like Verified by Visa.
Zhan Jovanovski, Head of Risk, GCC, Levant & Pakistan at Visa, said: “Our research shows consumers in Kuwait to be among the most embracing of electronic payments and e-commerce in the region. It is essential that the sector maintains this level of trust while overcoming any remaining concerns consumers may have. Visa advocates a multi-layered security approach to tackling fraud, with the cardholder an integral part of the solution. Equally, there are a number of relatively simple steps retailers can take to build further trust in the online shopping experience. This campaign is an opportunity to achieve both of these goals.”
Visa’s research is part of its ongoing efforts to support governments across the world move to cashless societies and achieve their visions of creating smart cities, and builds on similar initiatives in the UAE and South Africa in previous years.
Further information about staying safe when using your card is available on www.visamiddleeast.com.
About the study
A total of 600 people in Kuwait were interviewed for 15 minutes each in early 2017 by 4SiGHT Research & Analytics. The panel comprised Kuwaitis (73%), expat Arabs (20%), expat Asians (6%), and others (1%). Respondents lived in Al Farwaniyah (21%), Al Jahra (20%), Hawalli (17%), Al Asimah (17%), Al Ahmadi (17%), and Mubarak Al-Kabeer (8%), with each having at least one payment card.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit www.visamiddleeast.com, visanewsmena.tumblr.com or follow us on Twitter @Visamiddleeast