- Visa’s Security Week in partnership with SAMA - represented by the National Payments System, mada, promotes educating online shoppers and ensuring protection against payment-related frauds
- The KSA eCommerce market is growing rapidly, with more than two-thirds of shoppers now trusting online shopping and online payments according to Visa survey
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; October 7, 2018: The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, represented by the National Payments System – mada, and the world’s leader in digital payments, Visa (NYSE:V), today launched Visa’s Security Week, an education campaign that aims to promote safe online shopping habits and provide consumers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with tips and advice to protect themselves against payment-related fraud. This builds on last year’s KSA Security Week and emphasizes Visa’s commitment, as the leading digital payments company in the Kingdom, to protecting shoppers online and supporting the growth of the eCommerce market in Saudi Arabia, in line with Vision 2030.
Visa and SAMA surveyed consumers across Saudi Arabia regarding eCommerce and online payments, providing compelling insights into their experiences, attitudes and behaviors. Over two-thirds of shoppers are now comfortable with online shopping (72%) and online payments (75%), according to the survey. The survey also identifies where shoppers can improve their payments security – and Visa’s tips, posts and videos throughout the week will show them how to do so as part of the #VisaSecurityWeek social media campaign.
Ziad Youssef, General Manager of National Payments System, at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, said: “Saudi Arabia’s payments landscape is rapidly evolving to offer online shoppers a range of payments options. That’s why raising public awareness on how consumers can stay safe while shopping online is such a priority, and the Security Week initiative will once again play a major role in empowering consumers with this knowledge. We are delighted to support Visa in increasing financial knowledge and payments security awareness within the Kingdom, as part of our drive to build a strong and diversified economy in line with the financial sector’s development and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.”
Neil Fernandes, Visa’s Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa, commented: “As the Kingdom continues to develop its eCommerce market in support of Vision 2030, it’s encouraging to see from our survey that shoppers in Saudi Arabia are gaining trust in online shopping and payments. Nevertheless, we want to ensure that every shopper has the best possible experience and that is why working together with SAMA to educate consumers on payment card security remains so important. In addition, our survey reveals how retailers can enhance their websites to encourage online purchases and maximize their own growth potential.
All this is part of Visa’s dedication to supporting the government’s endeavors in moving towards a cashless society, with the economic and social benefits that it brings. We are excited to work together with SAMA and play our part in the ongoing development of Saudi Arabia’s eCommerce sector.”
Benefits of eCommerce and digital payments being felt by consumers
As the survey indicates, shoppers are experiencing and recognizing the benefits of eCommerce and online payments:
- Almost half (45%) of consumers in the Kingdom are now frequent online shoppers, and that figure is as high as 58% for Saudis.
- Top categories in terms of booking and paying online have all seen continued growth, including flights (78% up from 62% last year), government services (56% from 54%), hotels (55% from 46%) and electronic goods (54% from 50%). In contrast, financial products such as mutual funds and stocks remain the least popular.
- Card payments as the top method of payment have gained significant ground, up to 62% in 2018 from 41% in 2017. The biggest drop was seen in Cash on Delivery, down from 28% to 16%.
Helping consumers stay safe online
With shoppers growing increasingly more comfortable with online shopping, Visa and mada realize the importance of empowering consumers with the right cybersecurity knowledge.
One of Visa’s key recommendations for online shopping is to shop only at well-known eCommerce sites – nearly two-thirds (64%) of Saudi shoppers already do this.
Visa also advises using only a strong, secure data connection to transact online. However, 56% of consumers in Saudi use an unsecured, open WiFi connection at least once a week.
When it comes to online security technologies, there is a good level of awareness of basics such as firewalls but only around half of respondents knew about more sophisticated technologies such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, which encrypt data sharing on online shopping websites. Visa suggests looking out for the ‘s’ after ‘http’ in website addresses to confirm that a site offers SSL protection.
The next steps for driving eCommerce and the cashless society
Visa is also taking action to help retailers understand what they can do to accelerate their online growth in the Kingdom, in collaboration with the National Payments System – mada.
In analyzing the trends and behaviors of online shoppers, the survey identifies how retailers can reassure consumers regarding security and thus encourage them to shop with the confidence that they’re protected from fraud. For example, 81% said that the most impactful thing retailers can do to build shoppers’ perception of their sites’ security is to display a well-known payment provider’s logo.
In addition, 56% said that dynamic, one-time passwords (OTPs) would encourage them to pay online, saving retailers time and money versus Cash on Delivery. Visa partners with retailers 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.
- ENDS -
About the KSA eCommerce and payment technologies study
604 people were interviewed for 15 minutes each in February 2018, comprising Saudi citizens (44%), expat Arabs (44%), expat Asians (10%) and Westerners (2%). Respondents lived in Riyadh (46%), Jeddah/Mekkah (26%), Dammam/Khobar (14%) and other cities (14%). Each had a banking relationship in the country of residence, was a user of payment cards and had 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.
mada is the national payment scheme in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is intended to deliver the next wave of innovation and excellence in retail payment services across The country and beyond whilst remaining true to our values. Through an advanced payment infrastructure, mada connects its Member Banks to each other and with other payment schemes such as GCCNET, Visa, MasterCard ,UPI and American Express to provide mada cardholders with a wider acceptance locally, regionally and internationally. The mada infrastructure permits all automated teller machines (ATMs) and point of sales (POS) Terminals in the Kingdom to accept mada cards and those issued by international payment schemes.