Middle East and Africa is the World’s Fastest Growing Payment Cards Region

Middle East and Africa is the World’s Fastest Growing Payment Cards Region
05.05.2017 07:30 am

Middle East and Africa is the World’s Fastest Growing Payment Cards Region

Payments

Research on the global payment cards market forecasts continued strong growth in the Middle East and Africa and highlights significant opportunities for the international card schemes

Many people still do not have a payment card

According to RBR’s Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2021, the number of cards in issue in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) increased by 13% to 611 million in 2015, making it the world’s fastest growing region. Large unbanked populations mean that many people do not yet have a payment card, and indicate significant potential. RBR forecasts that the number of cards in the region will rise to 910 million by the end of 2021.

Domestic scheme cards favoured in some markets because of lower issuing costs

By far the largest payment cards market in the region is Iran, where all payment cards are domestic-only, as a result of the ongoing imposition of international sanctions. The RBR study shows that domestic schemes are also present in Israel, Morocco, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. Domestic scheme cards are sometimes favoured because of their lower issuing costs – in Morocco, for example, Centre Monétique Interbancaire (CMI) cards are frequently issued as entry-level products.

Share of Cards by Scheme in the Middle East and Africa, 2015

Source: Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2021 (RBR)

Rapid growth presents a large opportunity for international schemes

Mastercard and Visa make up a large and growing share of the remaining cards in the region outside of Iran and RBR’s report shows that they have made notable gains in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. This is through both organic growth and agreements for their brands to be added to domestic scheme cards to enable cardholders to use them outside the country of issuance. Cards featuring both a domestic and international brand were most recently launched in Saudi Arabia, where “mada” debit cards were introduced by the Saudi Payment Network (SPAN) in 2015.

According to RBR’s Chris Herbert: “International schemes are using various strategies to take advantage of the fast growth in the Middle East and Africa and they will continue to increase their share in most markets. Nevertheless, ongoing sanctions against Iran mean that domestic schemes are likely to be the only cards present in that country for the short term at least”.

Related News

Computop and Eckoh Partner to Provide Retailers with Enhanced Security for Card-Not-Present Payments

Computop, a leading global payment processor, and Eckoh (AIM... Read more »

BlueSnap Appears on the Inc. 5000 List Following Three-year Revenue Growth of 260 Percent

Inc. magazine today revealed that BlueSnap is No. 1648 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-... Read more »

Standard Chartered and Airtel Africa Partner to Drive Financial Inclusion Across Africa

Standard Chartered Bank (www.SC.com) and Airtel Africa have today... Read more »

Barclaycard Launches New Service to Redefine Supply Chain Payments for Businesses

Barclaycard has launched Barclaycard Payment Intelligence (BPI), a new service which uses in-depth data analytics to provide... Read more »

AscendantFX Introduces Payment Tracking Through SWIFT gpi

AscendantFX Capital announced today that they have become members of the SWIFT network, and more specifically the Global Payment Initiative (gpi). Ascendant... Read more »

Mondia Pay Becomes Popular Digital Payment Solution for African Telcos

Mondia Pay, Mondia’s (www.Mondia.com) digital payment entity, announced that it recently... Read more »

Magazine
ALL
Free Newsletter Sign-up
+44 (0) 208 819 32 53 +44 (0) 173 261 71 47
Download Our Mobile App
Financial It Youtube channel