More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of consumers in MENA could be using buy now, pay later to make purchases by 2023, according to data from global payment solutions provider Checkout.com.
Thirty-nine per cent of consumers across MENA have used a BNPL option in 2022, up from 24 per cent in 2021. A further 28 per cent of consumers who have not used BNPL hope to use it in the next 12 months. It puts BNPL penetration higher in MENA than in Europe and the US.
Checkout.com’s Digital Transformation in MENA 2022 report surveyed more than 15,500 shoppers across the Middle East and North Africa. It also reveals that in the past three years, e-commerce has grown faster in the MENA region than anywhere else in the world, with an estimated 209 million consumers transitioning to online shopping during the height of the pandemic.
According to the report, 91 per cent of respondents said they regularly shop online, up from 87 per cent in 2021. Additionally, more than half (52 per cent) of MENA residents said they shopped more frequently this year, up from 47 per cent in 2021. In the GCC, nine per cent of consumers are spending money online at least once per day, a 50 per cent increase in the past 12 months.
Trust in e-commerce
Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, vice president for MENA at Checkout.com, said: “The report validates our conclusions from last year – that the region’s e-commerce and digital payment ecosystem is growing rapidly. The combination of a digitally savvy population and a mature retail sector will ensure these gains are sustained in the long run.
“Additionally, the growing trust in online payments by regional shoppers means the digital transformation of the region’s retail sector is well underway. This is underlined by the emergence of Web3 as a key component of the online experience, with shoppers showing a significant appetite for transacting on-chain, and a desire both to be paid and to pay in digital currencies.”
The report also shows that 70 per cent of consumers across MENA prefer to use a digital payment method – up from 60 per cent in 2021 and 40 per cent in 2020. This figures rises further in the GCC region, with 80 per cent now favouring digital payment methods.
Meanwhile, a fifth of consumers in MENA say they now frequently shop via social media channels (s-commerce), representing a 43 per cent growth in the past 24 months. The interest for social commerce has more than doubled in KSA and the UAE.