14 December 2017
visit www.solutions.lexisnexis.com

Middle East and Africa is the world’s fastest growing payment cards region

05 May 2017  |  3246 views  |  0 Source: RBR

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.

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”.

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
visit www.thomsonreuters.infovisit www.aciworldwide.comvisit www.atos.net

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
Deutsche Bank paper hails 'huge' blockchain potentialDeutsche Bank paper hails 'huge' blockchai...
10076 views comments | 16 tweets | 25 linkedin
satelliteRipple completes XRP Lockup
8808 views comments | 3 tweets | 2 linkedin
PSD2: Laying the regulatory foundation for a new age in paymentsPSD2: Laying the regulatory foundation for...
8791 views comments | 17 tweets | 36 linkedin
Alior Bank to use Open API platform and accelerator to create fintech marketplaceAlior Bank to use Open API platform and ac...
7534 views comments | 20 tweets | 11 linkedin
Brits flock to digital-only banksBrits flock to digital-only banks
7162 views 11 comments | 11 tweets | 15 linkedin

Featured job

Competitive package
New York City, NY - USA

Find your next job