According to estimates from Visa, Saudi Arabia had a 43 percent increase in e-commerce for the first quarter of 2014, as compared to the same period from 2013.
The leading categories for spending were general department store and airline transactions. Travel agencies, financial services and fashion retail were also in the top categories.
Visa’s Saudi Arabia Country Manager Ahmed Gaber explained to the Arabian Gazette that the nation has been one of the leading markets in the GCC to have embraced electronic payments, in addition to internet and broadband penetration. Those facts have resulted in a greater adoption of financial cards for e-commerce transactions.
“Growth of e-commerce in Saudi Arabia has also benefited from wider merchant acceptance, growth in the retail space and improved financial literacy among the wider population,” Gaber told the news source.
Additionally, fraud rates have also declined by more than two-thirds in the last two decades. Visa mainly attributes this fact to technological innovations and advances in risk management.
According to the news source, more banks in Saudi Arabia have been targeting specific segments of the market, including women. There are also Sharia compliant cards and ones designed to draw in frequent travelers.
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