Kuwait City, Kuwait, 19 May 2019: The Kuwait Banking Association, and the world’s leader in digital payments, Visa (NYSE: V), today launched “Stay Secure”, a consumer education campaign that aims to promote safe digital payment (card and mobile) practices among Kuwaiti consumers. The Visa-KBA 2019 security campaign addresses consumer concerns and provides relevant tips and advice to help consumers protect themselves against payment-related frauds. This is the second successive year that KBA and Visa have partnered on this initiative. Previously running for one week, this year’s campaign will run for one month.
Visa and KBA surveyed consumers across Kuwait regarding security of digital payments both online and in-store. According to the survey findings, Kuwaiti consumers are increasingly comfortable paying and transacting with cards overall (in-store and online), with 92% of respondents finding cards more secure than cash. Among online shoppers, specifically, 73% prefer paying by card driven by factors such as security (77%), budget management (66%), and availability (60%). 84% of the respondents claimed to have started making more card payments online in the past 2 years.
For in-store transactions, security (81%), budget management (72%) and convenience (68%) were identified as being the top three drivers. The survey findings also noted that 65% of respondents trust digital wallets (contactless transactions with mobile) and 60% trust contactless cards.
Dr. Hamad al Hasawi, Secretary General of KBA, said: “We are excited to support Visa again on this year’s security campaign, ‘Stay Secure’. As the study reveals, Kuwaiti consumers consider card payments more secure and convenient over cash, demonstrating deep levels of penetration and adoption of digital payments in the country. However, in order to fortify the digital payments ecosystem and strengthen consumer confidence in transacting digitally, we must continue to educate the population so that they engage in safe digital payment transactions. Consumer education-led initiatives such as this are particularly essential to support in fostering Kuwait’s digital transformation.“
Neil Fernandes, Visa’s Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa, commented: “At a time when businesses and consumers are becoming more digital and the impact of new technologies is felt by everyone everywhere, security must remain at the forefront. If digital commerce is the way ahead then consumers need to feel secure about using it. One of the ways we are doing this is by continuing with our mission of educating consumers on digital payments and making them aware of the multi-layered security that is in place to protect their card data. We are delighted to see our efforts paying off as evident with the positive results of our survey indicating improvement in consumer confidence in transacting digitally using mobile wallet and contactless cards. We are delighted to partner with the KBA on this initiative which we believe will help support Kuwait’s digitalization drive.”
Achieving Higher Customer Conversion Rates
An important finding that emerged from the survey and one for retailers to take note of was offering card payment option (mobile POS) upon product delivery could help with converting Cash on Delivery (COD) customers into digital payers. According to the survey, 95% of those customers preferring COD would pay by card if a mobile POS machine was available upon delivery.
Visa also provides insights on how online merchants can tackle consumer security concerns and encourage them to shop with confidence on their sites. When consumers were asked, visibility of logos of payment providers & trust badges (54%); displaying customer reviews (51%); providing the option to pay using their local currency (47%); providing strong customer service (45%); allowing for a wider range of payment options (40%); and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates (30%) on the eCommerce platform stood out as the top features that would offer consumers the confidence to shop on their websites.
Consumer Security Measures
Majority of the cardholders prefer dynamic, one-time passwords (OTPs) for authenticating digital transactions – driven by more familiarity / usage and the fact it is provided by their own bank – with 58% claiming to prefer it and 60% considering it more secure compared to fingerprint scanning (14%), facial recognition (9%), iris scanning (8%), Captcha (7%) and voice recognition (2%). This is an opportunity for online retailers to partner with Visa to adopt Verified by Visa, an authentication protocol for shoppers that uses OTPs to ensure payments are made by the rightful owner of the Visa account.
Digital wallets for contactless payments are protected by multiple layers of security, so shoppers can use these new payment technologies both in-store and online with the comfort that they are secure. Visa’s tokenization technology, for example, replaces card data, including the 16-digit card number, with a “token”, a random number, to protect cardholders’ account information. During the transaction, the token is submitted instead of the actual card information. Globally, digital wallets, such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, are enabled by Visa tokenization, meaning shoppers have a safe and seamless experience whether paying in person or online. Visa also recommends consumers protect their mobile phones with passcode and biometrics as an added layer of protection for mobile payments.
Some of Visa’s key recommendations for consumers to engage in safe online shopping practices include: (i) shop at well-known eCommerce sites, (ii) avoid using public WiFi connection for transactions, (iii) look for the ‘s’ after ‘http’ in website addresses to confirm that a site offers (SSL) protection, (iv) activate Verified by Visa with your bank to secure online payments; log out whenever you leave a website, especially if using a public computer; and (v) never share your personal account information on social media, over email, phone or chat.
The Visa-KBA Stay Secure campaign will run for one month on Facebook (@VisaMiddleEast and @OnlineKBA) and Instagram (@visamiddleeast and @kbaonline). Consumers can also visit the Stay Secure campaign page to learn more about digital payments security.
To read the full Visa-KBA Stay Secure survey, please click here.
About Visa’s MENA research on Consumer Attitudes and Behavior Towards Card Security, 2019
Over 401 people were interviewed for 15 minutes each in February 2019, comprising Kuwaiti citizens (69%), expat Arabs (19%), expat Asians (11%), Western expats/others (1%). 72% of the respondents were men and 28% were women. Respondents lived in Hawalli (43%), Al Asimah (18%), Al Farwaniyah (16%), Al Ahmadi (11%), Al Jahra (9%), and Mubarak Al-Kabeer (4%). They were aged between 25-35 (65%), 36-45 (30%), and 46-55 (5%) years old. Each had a banking relationship in the country of residence and was a user of payment cards – having made at least one online payment in the past six months.
Research was conducted by 4SiGHT Research & Analytics.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit www.visamiddleeast.com, www.visanewsmena.tumblr.com or follow us on Twitter @Visamiddleeast.