Kuwait City, Kuwait, 19 June 2022: Eighty-six percent of consumers said security standards for online payment services offered on eCommerce sites was the top reason they would choose to pay online with their cards rather than Cash on Delivery (COD), according to the 2022 Stay Secure survey launched by Visa and Kuwait Banking Association (KBA). Protection of consumer payment data (maintaining privacy) came second (54% of consumers) while prices of goods and services was the least important aspect (14%) for choosing digital payment.
The same trend was also observed in-store, wherein 72% of consumers ranked security standards for payment services as the topmost factor when considering digital payment options to pay for goods and services, followed by guarantees and return policies (66%) and safety and hygiene standards (33%). Nearly nine in 10 respondents have made digital payments in the last month, and nearly half of the respondents said they have become more open to adopt digital payment options in-stores, particularly contactless payments, and online since the start of Covid-19 pandemic.
Majority of consumers (80%) said they would switch stores or online shopping sites and apps, based on the payment methods offered, with most consumers indicating a strong preference for digital payments over cash. The survey found that 43% of consumers prefer using cash for tipping at hotels, restaurants or tourist locations and utilities.
And while majority of consumers (74%) say they are confident about recognizing a fraud or scam, a third surveyed in Kuwait still struggle in this area.
Data privacy and security is critical for consumers: What merchants can do
A majority (89%) of respondents want to know how their personal information will be handled and protected before providing it to an eCommerce site. Additionally, about three quarters (78%) stated that they would like to know how payment security technologies work to be able to trust digital payment methods in general. It is therefore important to continue to educate consumers about safe payment behaviors and to enhance their confidence in digital payments in cooperation with all stakeholders in the financial sector, including financial institutions, payment companies and governments.
Based on the survey findings, merchants can enhance consumer confidence and improve payment experience by disclosing measures taken to protect consumers' personal information, providing clear information about guarantees and refund options, and displaying logos/ symbols of banks and payment partners.
Neil Fernandes, Visa's Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa, commented: “That consumers value security and privacy more than price and transparency when it comes to how their personal data is handled are important insights for merchants looking to build and maintain consumer trust in their payment offerings. And the fact that a third of consumers are still unable to identify a potential fraud reinforces the need for all players in the payments ecosystem to continue to work together to ensure consumers are protected. Stay Secure campaign continues to be an important platform for Visa and Kuwait Banking Association to help educate consumers about payment security and support merchants in meeting the increasing need for secure, seamless digital payments both in-store and online.”
Dr. Hamad Al-Hasawi, Kuwait Banking Association’s (KBA) Secretary-General, commented: “The survey conducted by Visa and KBA confirmed growth in use of digital payments, and customers’ preferences for these payments due to high standard of safety and security, as well as ease of use. Kuwaiti banks are leaders in digital payments, and offer new products and services that meet customers’ needs. The survey showed customers’ high level of awareness regarding risks associated with digital payments, and importance of protecting banking data, this confirms the success of banks’ and KBA approach in reinforcing financial and banking awareness as well as secure payment behaviors. The survey provided a number of important tips for retail sector to offer better customer digital payments experience. KBA appreciates Visa’s role in reinforcing a culture of digital payments, and we are pleased for the continued cooperation with Visa for the fifth year in a row in "Stay Secure" campaign.
New payment trends
More than half of the respondents (59%) are familiar with BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later), of which, close to a fourth (24%) have used it in the past.
An average of 67% said they would be likely to switch stores or online shopping sites or apps that offered a BNPL option, demonstrating the growing popularity of BNPL and the need for more retailers to consider offering new financing options.
Less than a quarter of respondents said they feel comfortable using newer forms of payment such as cryptocurrencies to pay for goods or services, while 30% of respondents were not aware of cryptocurrencies - indicating the need for more consumer education and awareness before cryptocurrencies can evolve as a common and trusted form of payment in Kuwait.
The survey corresponds with the launch of Visa's annual "Stay Secure" social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram (@VisaMiddleEast, @KBAOnline) in partnership with Kuwait Banking Association for the fifth year in a row. The campaign reinforces safe digital payment practices and educate consumers on how they can protect personal data even as they enjoy the benefits and convenience of eCommerce and contactless payments. The Kuwait Stay Secure webpage also includes fraud prevention tips for consumers and information on security features of digital payments.