Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 26 May 2019: The Saudi Payment Network – mada, 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 Saudi consumers. The Visa-mada 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 mada and Visa have partnered on this initiative. Previously running for one week, this year’s campaign will run for one month.
Visa and mada surveyed consumers across the Kingdom regarding security of digital payments both online and in-store. According to the survey findings, Saudi consumers are increasingly comfortable paying and transacting with cards overall (in-store and online), with 89% of respondents finding cards more secure than cash. Among online shoppers and eCommerce users, card payments remained the predominant mode of payments (66%) driven by factors such as security (82%), budget management (66%), and availability (60%). 82% of the respondents claimed to have started making more card payments online in the past 2 years.
For in-store transactions, security (86%), budget management (71%), and convenience (68%) were identified as being the top three drivers. The survey findings also noted that 84% of respondents trust digital wallets (contactless transactions with mobile) and 80% trust contactless cards.
Ziad Al Yousef, Managing Director of Saudi Payments, said: “We are excited to partner with Visa on the ’Stay Secure’ campaign as it gives us a sense of consumers’ security concerns and enables us to address them effectively. Saudi Arabia’s payments landscape is rapidly evolving to offer online shoppers with a range of payments options. With Apple Pay being launched in the Kingdom earlier this year, and digital payments on the rise, it is important to raise public awareness on how consumers can stay safe while shopping and transacting online. We believe as more and more consumers become confident and secure about their online transactions, the acceptance and adoption of digital payments will accelerate further, and that will eventually help support the Kingdom’s digitalization drive.”
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 mada on this initiative which we believe will help support the Kingdom’s digital transformation and movement towards a cashless future.”
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, 98% 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 more shoppers to use their sites. Consumers prioritized the following factors when transacting on an online platform: Visibility of logos of payment providers & trust badges (65%); providing strong customer service (62%); displaying customer reviews (50%); and avoiding the promotion of unrealistic discounts (39%) on the eCommerce platform, stood out as the top features that would offer consumers the confidence to shop on their sites.
Consumer Security Measures
Consumers prefer Captcha for authenticating digital transactions – with 39% claiming to prefer it and 37% considering it more secure compared to fingerprint scanning (27%), OTP (16%), iris scanning (11%), facial recognition (7%) and voice recognition (3%). However, 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. Digital wallets such as Apple Pay and mada 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 unsecured and public WiFi connection for transactions, (iii) look out for the ‘s’ after ‘http’ in website addresses to confirm that a site offers (SSL) protection, and (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-mada Stay Secure campaign will run for one month on Facebook (@VisaMiddleEast) and Instagram (@visamiddleeast and @mada_payments). Consumers can also visit the Stay Secure campaign page to learn more about digital payments security.
To read the full Visa-mada Stay Secure survey, please click here.
About Visa’s MENA research on Consumer Attitudes and Behavior Towards Card Security, 2019
Over 460 people were interviewed for 15 minutes each in February 2019, comprising Saudi citizens (59%), expat Arabs (35%), and expat Asians (7%). 68% of the respondents were men and 32% were women. Respondents lived in Riyadh (47%), Jeddah/Mekkah (30%), Dammam (12%), and others (11%). 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.