Checkout.com, a leading worldwide payment solutions provider, has released its annual MENAP Payments report. As consumer demand for digital commerce grows, ‘Digital Transformation in MENA and Pakistan: Why Payments are Key to Unlocking More Growth and Opportunity’ examines the region’s eCommerce and Fintech sectors over the last year, highlighting the growth opportunity for merchants in this maturing market in Pakistan and beyond.
● Checkout.com launches MENAP Payments report, with 13,000 consumers surveyed in largest report of its kind
● The report estimates that 209M more customers in MENA and Pakistan have begun shopping online since the start of the pandemic
● 83 percent of shoppers say they’ll maintain or increase their eCommerce spend into 2022
● Majority (60 percent) of consumers prefer to pay via digital payment methods – a 20 percent increase year-on-year
Checkout.com, a leading worldwide payment solutions company, has released its annual MENAP Payments report. As consumer demand for digital commerce grows, ‘Digital Transformation in MENA and Pakistan: Why Payments are Key to Unlocking More Growth and Opportunity’ examines the region’s eCommerce and Fintech sectors over the past year, highlighting the growth opportunity for merchants in this maturing market in Pakistan and beyond.
The eCommerce market in MENAP is growing at an exponential rate, according to the research. In 2020, 47% of customers predicted that they would buy online more regularly in the coming year. Approximately 83 percent of respondents believe they will continue or even raise their present level of eCommerce spending into 2022 in 2021, indicating a permanent shift in consumer behaviour.
The convenience economy has been particularly affected by this transition, with commonplace products like meal delivery, groceries, and domestic goods becoming strong favourites. The research also reveals that customers are buying online more frequently, with almost half (45%) of those polled indicating they purchase online at least once a month. Furthermore, 53% believe they are doing more purchasing online today than they were before the COVID-19 epidemic began.
The region’s digital payments infrastructure has grown in complexity in tandem with the increase in digital commerce. Payment options including cash-on-delivery and bank transfers have witnessed a year-over-year decline. Instead, 60 percent of consumers in the region prefer to pay for online purchases using a digital payment method, up 20% from Checkout.com’s 2020 study.
This is also giving way to newer methods of paying, including digital wallets, in-app social shopping, and buy now pay later (BNPL) options. Checkout.com’s global data in 2021 suggests that the MENAP region is actually outpacing regions such as Europe and APAC for the adoption of in-app social shopping and BNPL. Today, three in four (76 percent) consumers in the region report using some form of fintech app in the past year, with 81 percent feeling they directly benefit from the growing fintech sector.
“A flourishing digital payments and eCommerce ecosystem is leading consumers to feel more empowered, with start-ups thriving in the fintech arena, and commercial markets opening up,” notes Mo Ali Yusuf, Regional Manager for MENAP at Checkout.com. “Checkout.com has operated in the region since 2014 and has played a privileged role to enable eCommerce to flourish, offering a unified payment experience across all major markets in MENA. This has given us a unique vantage point across the market, with our 2021 report highlighting how much growth has been condensed into 12 short months – a testament to progressive government policies and forward-thinking governments who are opening up the region, harnessing the growth potential of fintech, and responding to the changing habits and expectations of their populations.”
Another sign of the region’s maturing eCommerce and digital payment industries is a sustained increase in cross-border commerce. Merchants who offer both international payment channels and popular local payment methods are enabling countries in the region to contribute to global value chains more effectively, according to the report. Approximately 85 percent of consumers in the region have made online purchases from brands and retailers outside of their home country in the past 12 months, with a third (33 percent) citing cross-border shopping as their number one reason for shopping online. This year’s report further predicts that over 80 percent of large European enterprise merchants will be selling into the MENAP region by 2023.
Yusuf continues: “For the first time, our data shows us that MENAP has begun to outperform European markets in the adoption of emerging payment methods. This presents a phenomenal opportunity for global and domestic merchants to expand their businesses across MENA. We are proud to continue supporting this ecosystem to thrive, in what we forecast to be another year of exponential growth across the region.”
Leading voices within the region’s business community add perspective to these issues as part of this year’s Checkout.com report. Case studies and issues-based opinions are featured from organizations such as Careem, OSN, Fawry, Tamara, the MENA Fintech Association, Visa and others, underscoring the importance of creative collaborations in advancing digital commerce.