Cross-border payments are rising in popularity all over the world. A recent Mastercard Borderless Payments Report reflects that growing trend.
According to the study, 48 percent of individuals in the UAE anticipate an increase in sending cross-border payments over the next 12 months. Moreover, 36 percent are expecting to receive more transactions from abroad during the same period.
Meanwhile, the report revealed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will see a 43 percent rise in cross-border payments over the same period. Moreover, 40 percent of Saudi senders and half of the receivers express an intention to use cross-border payments more frequently.
UAE’s cross-border payment landscape
Mastercard’s report said that lower fees, speed, and simplicity are paramount for UAE residents when selecting cross-border payment platforms. Around 53 percent of the respondents emphasized the importance of lower fees, while 52 percent said swift delivery of funds was important. Additionally, 41 percent expressed their preference for a straightforward remittance process.
In a landscape dominated by digital transformations, 33 percent of respondents in the UAE also underscored the need for security. They highlighted the growing concern for data protection and the need to keep personal information secure. Meanwhile, 24 percent called for robust fraud protection measures.
On the other hand, the report also delved into the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE. An astounding 80 percent of SMEs are actively planning to engage with more international businesses. Additionally, 96 percent of them are utilizing more international suppliers and services compared to the previous year.
Notably, 82 percent of UAE SMEs leveraged mobile apps for cross-border payments. This marked a significant 27 percent increase from 2021.
“We remain committed to leveraging our advanced portfolio of solutions to provide the UAE population with fast, seamless, cost-effective, and secure remittance services,” said Gina Petersen-Skyrme, VP of Mastercard.
Saudi Arabia’s cross-border projections
As for KSA, the report revealed Saudis preferred cross-border payments because of speed, lower fees, and 24/7. Over half of the users gave importance to the rapid delivery of funds and 49 percent underscored the significance of lower fees. Meanwhile, 44 percent expressed the desire for a website or app facilitating cross-border transactions.
Saudi Arabia’s needs align with the global push for greater security in digital financial services. Thus, 40 percent of Saudi respondents stressed the importance of keeping personal information secure. An additional 29 percent called for robust fraud protections.
Meanwhile, the report highlighted the robust growth of SMEs in Saudi Arabia. An impressive 80 percent are actively planning to expand their international business footprint. Moreover, 84 percent are utilizing more international suppliers and services compared to the previous year. A noteworthy 88 percent of Saudi SMEs use apps for cross-border payments, marking a substantial 27 percent growth from 2021.
“These payments continue to play a vital role for many across the Kingdom, with our research underlining the importance of convenience and security to those we serve.” stated Maria Medvedeva, Country Manager, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, Mastercard.
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