Mastercard Borderless Payments Report: UAE Expects Surge in Cross-Border Transactions, Prioritizing Lower Fees and Speed

48% of UAE residents plan more cross-border payments; Mastercard’s report emphasizes lower fees, speed, and simplicity preferences.

Mastercard’s Borderless Payments Report 2023 reveals that 48% of people in the UAE expect to send cross-border payments more frequently in the next 12 months, while 36% are likely to receive more cross-border payments in the same period.

Globally, the report indicates that two in five (40%) senders and half of receivers intend to use cross-border payments more frequently over the same period, while approximately half plan to increase the value of their transactions.

The findings from Mastercard’s third Borderless Payments Report draw on the views of over 11,000 consumers and small businesses across 15 markets in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The report results show that lower fees, speed and a simple process are the key factors for people in the UAE when choosing a brand or company to use for cross-border payments. According to the report, over half (53%) of respondents in the country said lower fees for sending and receiving money were crucial, while 52% expressed a preference for delivering funds quickly, and 41% were seeking a simple remittance process.

The UAE is home to a sophisticated community of consumers and businesses that rely on cross-border payments to support their everyday needs. Our latest findings show that these payments continue to play a vital role for many across the country, with our research highlighting the importance of affordability and speed to those we serve. We remain committed to leveraging our advanced portfolio of solutions to provide the UAE population with fast, seamless, cost-effective and secure remittance services.

Gina Petersen-Skyrme, VP and Country Business Development Lead, UAE & Oman, Mastercard

At a time when digital transformation and the digitization of financial services has placed an emphasis on greater security, 33% of UAE respondents stressed the importance of keeping personal information secure, while 24% called for fraud protections to be in place.

In terms of the growth of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in the UAE, the research also reveals that 80% of SMEs in the country are actively planning to do more international business in the future. The majority – 96% – of small businesses are using more international suppliers and services than they were 12 months ago.

Notably, 82% of SMEs in the UAE use an app to make cross-border payments — the fourth-highest percentage across the markets surveyed. This number shows the highest growth among all countries participating in the research – up 27% compared to 2021.

Mastercard’s technology and innovative solutions enable its customers to move money and data quickly and securely, both domestically and internationally. The company’s suite of remittance-related products enables payments using its global network to be delivered to bank accounts, digital and mobile wallets, cards and cash-out locations across more than 180 countries and 150 currencies. In total, these services provide senders with access to more than 90% of the world’s banked population and in near real time to more than 50 markets.

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