67% of UAE consumers make contactless payments: Survey

by Staff Reporter
67% of UAE consumers make contactless payments: Survey

In a world where cash is no longer king, the UAE is rapidly advancing towards its vision of a cashless society, bolstered by efforts to enhance financial literacy and implement strategies for inclusive growth.

The rise of fintechs has been a major contributor, by offering innovative and accessible financial services.

Projections for 2028 indicate that card payments in the UAE are set to skyrocket to an impressive $208.2 billion, signaling a massive shift towards cashless transactions.

Fintech initiatives aimed at removing barriers to entry play a pivotal role in banking the unbanked. Companies like Astra Tech, the parent company of the Botim Ultra App, have emerged in recent years, focusing on introducing financially inclusive solutions that cater to previously untapped segments.

For instance, Astra Tech’s Botim Multi-currency prepaid card overcame minimum salary requirements imposed by traditional banks, enabling Botim users to access online services regardless of their background and income level, supporting this transition to a cashless economy.

Financial inclusion has significantly boosted the use of digital wallets as well, enhancing their capabilities through services such as peer-to-peer transactions, and fostering increased trust and reliance on them. Last year, Botim partnered with the Chinese Weixin Wallet (WeChat), which has over 1 billion users, enabling seamless cross-border remittances from UAE to China. By making wallets even more robust and expanding their reach, these advancements are setting the stage for an interconnected financial ecosystem.

Moreover, a closer look at the UAE’s transition to a cashless society reveals a multifaceted strategy that goes beyond individual transactions. Collaborations among government, financial institutions, and technology innovators are driving groundbreaking initiatives like contactless financial services, which will shape the feature as payments become more autonomous.

Astra Tech, for instance, exemplifies this synergy with ventures such as the B Store, a sully autonomous store that enables facial recognition-based payments, and Palm Pay, the region’s first contactless palm recognition payment technology that offers more security. These collaborations are reshaping the payment landscape, showcasing the transformative power of cooperative efforts.

Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Founder of Astra Tech and CEO of Botim, also noted the UAE’s support for fintechs. Emphasizing how this can accelerate progress, he commented: “The UAE’s proactive support for innovative fintech solutions is driving the quick shift towards a cashless economy, reflecting the UAE leadership’s vision towards a fully digitalized and inclusive financial ecosystem.

“Going cashless has numerous benefits for individuals and businesses alike, by empowering them to have greater financial control and reducing the risks associated with carrying physical cash, supporting the transition to a digital economy. At Astra Tech, we are proud to be building the MENA region’s largest tech ecosystem with comprehensive fintech capabilities from the UAE to the world, serving over 150 million users globally today.”

As 64% of UAE residents expect the nation to achieve full cashlessness by 2030, the current engagement in digital transactions and contactless payments is significant, with 67% of consumers participating and 88% having used at least one emerging payment method.

This collective vision reflects widespread confidence in technological advancement and a readiness to embrace a future where financial empowerment knows no bounds. The UAE is poised to lead the evolution towards a cashless society, highlighting the nation’s commitment to innovation and progress.


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