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Lebanon Country Report

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  • Published Date: June 2018

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Lebanon.


  • Lebanon has a competitive retail banking industry led by domestic banks. However, only half of all adults have a bank account.
  • Unlike other Middle Eastern countries, mortgage loans constitute a significant share of total consumer lending, representing around 61 per cent of total consumer credit outstandings at the end of 2017.
  • Lebanon's central bank introduced new regulations in late 2014 which set minimum down-payments and capped monthly repayments relative to income on housing and car loans.
  • Lebanon remains a cash-dominated society, however, payment card penetration (including credit, debit and e-money cards) increased to 78 cards per 100 adults in 2017, up from 59 in 2011.
  • Debit cards are used primarily to withdraw cash. ATM transactions accounted for 81 per cent of debit card billed volume and 69 per cent of the number of transactions in 2017.
  • In common with other markets in the Middle East, credit card issuers in Lebanon are focused on the premium segment. Spending on Premium cards is around six times higher than that on standard credit cards.
  • During 2017, an estimated 65 per cent of total credit card billed volume originated from Premium cardholders.
  • Profit per card in Lebanon was estimated at $161 in 2017. Credit losses are low as the majority of credit cards are linked to salary accounts.
  • Due to their association with money laundering and terrorist financing, the central bank banned the issue of prepaid cards in 2016 with the exception of cards linked to a bank account and issued to an identifiable individual.
  • Bank Audi is the leading issuer and acquirer of credit and debit cards in Lebanon.

Lebanon Payments Research | Report Contents

Demographics and Economy
Outlines the key metrics and trends which influence the development of retail banking and payments in the country:

  • Population structure
  • Income
  • Mobile and internet use
  • Economic data

Retail Banking
Explores the structure of the local banking system, its infrastructure and the leading players. Data includes:

  • Aggregate retail banking indicators
  • Bank branch, ATMs and POS terminals
  • The profitability of top banks

Consumer Finance
Overview of consumer finance in the country. Categories analysed include:

  • Mortgage loans
  • Personal loans
  • Credit card loans
  • Vehicle loans

Credit Cards
Industry-leading credit card coverage. We detail the past present and future of the industry through our data and commentary, including:

  • Market size split by consumer and commercial credit cards: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Profit pool analysis
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Debit Cards

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Prepaid Cards

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume


Verisk reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit throughout the Middle East. Analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and Middle East experts.

See more Middle East Country Reports or explore the full range of worldwide cards & payments reports available for markets worldwide or view our latest report updates.

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