A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in the United Arab Emirates.
Demographics and the economy
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Regulatory and other cards market information
Appendices: Card Payments Data
Appendix I: Demographics and economy
Appendix II: Payments environment
Appendix III: Cards market
Appendix V: Profit pool
Appendix VI: The card networks
Appendix VII: Retail banks and issuers
Appendix VIII: Acquiring and processing
Appendix IX: Online acquiring
Demographics and Economy:
The UAE government is continuously focusing on diversifying its economy. Non-hydrocarbon sectors such as aviation, tourism, trade, real estate and financial services have seen significant developments in the past few years.
The growth in card purchase volume has been enabled by a significant increase in acceptance infrastructure: the number of POS terminals grew by 151% from 2013 to 2018 (from 91,791 to 230,038).
The UAE is a cash-dominated society; about 41% of transactions were paid for using cash during 2018. However, the proportion of cash payments is declining gradually. Banks and the government have been promoting electronic payments.
While mobile payments are available in the UAE, billed volume as a proportion of total electronic payments is negligible. However, stakeholders in the payments space have been working to bring mobile payment solutions to the market for the past several years.
Total revenue increased by 48% between 2013 and 2018 to reach $2.6 billion, boosted by an increase in card numbers and billed volumes.
Although there are five card networks operating in the country, the market is dominated by Visa and Mastercard, which together represented 99% market share both in terms of the number of credit cards in issue, as well as billed volume in 2018. Visa and Mastercard are the only two debit cards schemes operating in the UAE.
Key Retail Banks and Issuers:
The consolidation in the banking sector has changed the competitive landscape in the cards market. The merger between NBAD and FGB meant the top ten credit card issuers merged, leaving the newly created First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) as the second-ranked issuer by number of credit cards and by credit card outstandings.
Acquiring and Processing:
Network International (NI), Mashreq Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank dominate the UAE acquiring market, with a combined market share of 92% of total payment card acquired billed volume.
E-commerce sales in the UAE are estimated to reach $7.6 billion in 2019. E-commerce has grown strongly over the last few years, and total e-commerce turnover is forecast to reach almost $10 billion in 2020.
Regulatory and Markets Information:
In order to reduce the country's dependence on oil and other hydrocarbon products as a source of revenue, the UAE decided to implement Value Added Tax (VAT), which came into effect on 1 January 2018.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Al Etihad Credit Bureau
Al Hilal Bank
Al Rajhi Bank of Saudi Arabia
Bank of Baroda
Central Bank of the UAE
Department of Economic Development
Dubai Free Zones Council
Dubai Government Human Resources Department
Dubai Internet City
Dubai Islamic Bank
Emerging Market Payments
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company
Emirates Islamic Bank
Emirates National Oil Company
Emirates NBD Pay
Emirates Petroleum Products Company
Eros Digital Home
First Abu Dhabi Bank
First Gulf Bank
Gulf Cooperation Council
Jumeirah Emirates Towers
Kuwait Finance House
London Stock Exchange (LSE)
Majid Al Futtaim
Manchester City FC
Manchester United FC
National Bank of Abu Dhabi
National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah
National Payment Systems Strategy
Quisk Middle East
Road and Transport Authority
Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority
Sharjah Islamic Bank
Standard Chartered Bank
Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection
Union National Bank
United Arab Bank offer
US Federal Reserve
Wage Protection System
Verisk Financial Research reports delivering market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit for the Middle East. Researchers use both primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior Middle east industry executives and experts.
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