About the Report

WHY THE STATE OF PAYMENTS?

Welcome to the State of Payments 2017 by PAYFORT. For the fourth year in a row we’re releasing our annual review detailing the current trends in payments, ecommerce, and innovation across the Arab World.

As usual we have spent months compiling the latest data from consumers and merchants alike to provide you with actionable insight that you apply today to make your business more successful, more profitable and more focused.

Three years ago we released our first State of Payments report, a content piece that naturally materialized out of our desire to better understand consumers across the region and provide that information to the growing business community throughout the Arab World.

The following year we continued to develop this idea by creating a report that not only contained the same consumer-centric data but, also presented that data in an intuitive and easy to understand format. We worked to create a more complete picture of the region that went beyond the data and incorporated the opinions of hundreds of merchants who interact with Arab consumers on a day-to-day basis.

Last year we reimagined how to share the growing dataset available within the Middle East’s ecommerce sectors. We once again adapted the format and refocused on a report that explored current trends and also addressed real issues that impact merchants on a day to day basis. We wanted to create something that provides the latest trends and also provides business leaders with meaningful solutions for the future.

That brings us to this year's report and the latest reimagining of what State of Payments can be. Over the years we've worked hard to bring you the data and insights that are shaping the Arab world but this year we wanted to put that potential directly in our reader's hands. 2017 marks our most dramatic change to the report ever, giving you the opportunity to create exactly what you need to make better business decisions. The heart of this year's report is customization and we want you to use the new features to the fullest extent. So dive in and playing around there are 100's of unique combinations each with their own unique insights.

Over the past four years State of Payments has become our favourite content piece and we're always looking for ways to improve it. If you have any ideas on how we can make State of Payments better be sure to reach out via social media using the hashtag #StateofPayments or contact us via social@payfort.com to share your thoughts. We have also provided a feedback section within the report where you can share your thoughts.

ABOUT THE REPORT

The 2017 State of Payments report is structured to allow you to access the information that is relevant to your business, industry, and goals. This means that all the report elements can be combined and filtered based on your unique needs.

Tool Filters:

Geography

Geographically the report covers the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, and Qatar.

Timeframe

The data included in this year's report covers 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. We have tried to include as much data as possible for all years listed however due to limitations some items are not available for all years.

Industry

The report includes data from four major industries across the region including Travel, Ecommerce, Airlines, and Entertainment.

Demographics

All demographic data was collected by YouGov on behalf of PAYFORT. The same survey questions were asked across all countries and for all years listed unless otherwise specified. Also; it would be accurate to mention that data represents 2different sets i.e. online profiled information of the total panel in the region for the year 2017 and online survey conducted amongst 500-1000 responses that represents urban adult population in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

  • Social media

    The social networks popularity in a specific year/ country. NOTE: Surveys were conducted annually however the same respondents were NOT used for each year.

  • Online Age Group

    The age distribution of online users in a specific year/ country.

  • Gender

    The gender distribution of the general population in a specific year/ country.

  • Income level

    The income level distribution of the general population in a specific year/ country.

  • Top Product Categories

    The most popular product categories for online shopping in a specific year/ country.

  • Preferred Payment Method

    The most popular payment methods for online shopping in a specific year/ country.

Country Metrics

  • Population

    The total population of a specific country for a given year. SOURCE: World Bank

  • Internet Users

    The number of active internet users within a specific country for a given year. SOURCE liveinternetstats.com

  • Online Buyers

    The number of people who actively shop online within a specific country for a given year. SOURCE: World Bank

  • Smartphone Penetration

    The number of people actively using an internet connected Smartphone within a specific country for a given year. NOTE: This data is available for 2016 only. SOURCE: Wikipedia

  • Category size

    The team used a bottom-up approach to evaluate the category activity and calculate overall sector sizes. We studied the number of consumers within each country and combined that data with detailed user behavior to accurately estimate overall Category sizes.

Macroeconomics

  • GDP

    The total value of all goods and services produced within the borders of a specific country. SOURCE: Forbes.com

  • GDP per Capita

    The total value of all goods and services produced within the borders of a specific country divided by the total population of that country. SOURCE: Forbes.com

  • Unemployment Rate

    The percentage of working age adults not currently participating in the workforce calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of unemployed individuals by all individuals currently in the labor force. SOURCE: Forbes.com

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

This report was written and created by the PAYFORT Team. Amira Abou Shousha, Omar Soudodi, provided content and Nardeen Abdalla with visuals created by Seham Syed and development by Abdulaziz Homaily.

Special Thanks to for Mohamed Sayyed, Haitham Hawam, Dalia El Gammal, Mohamed Qudah ,Mahmoud El Safi and Morad Al Jabi, Ali Saif.

METHODOLOGY

The PAYFORT team took great care to curate the data within this report. We worked with a range of partners, merchants and consumers to collect the required information and focused on presenting the data in useful and easy to understand formats.

The heart of our research was carried out using detailed surveys that polled hundreds of regional merchants and thousands of consumers across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, and Qatar. Our in-house team of Category analysts then reviewed this data and country managers to ensure that the data collected aligned with real world trends across the region.

FINTECH CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR

As financial technology and innovation continues to sweep across the region, it is more important than ever for businesses to understand what services the Arab world is looking for. To help you navigate this evolving space, we conducted a YouGov survey specifivcally designed to understand the behavior and trends associated with Middle Eastern fintech.

All demographic data was collected by YouGov on behalf of PAYFORT. The same survey questions were asked across all countries and for all years listed unless otherwise specified.

GUIDES

Shopping Cart Guide

Whether your business is new or old, all ecommerce share a common trait; the shopping cart. But not all shopping carts are the same and what technology you use has a big impact on your customer's satisfaction. This guide provides a detailed overview of what options are available and when best to use them.

Checkout Page Guide

A checkout page is by far the most important part of any ecommerce website and the truth is if your checkout page isn't up to the latest standards, there's a good chance your customer is going to abandon you. This guide has everything you need to know about optimizing your ecommerce checkout page to ensure every lead generated has the best chance possible for conversion.

CURRENCY

All figures are in USD