Payfort has officially released the third edition of its yearly "State of Payments"  report, revealing Arab consumers' payment trends and online behavior.

Regionally, the online market size has increased 23.3 percent, with Saudi Arabia leading the way.


Saudi Arabia's growth in online market is due to the rise of e-commerce market in the country, especially when it comes to online travel bookings. The UAE and Egypt came in second in terms of growth. Lebanon and Qatar have witnessed the lowest growth in online market size.

People across the region are slowly starting to accept e-commerce transactions (including online payments) with a dramatic increase in the acceptance ratio regionally.


Egypt witnessed a 16 percent improvement in accepting e-commerce services, moving away from cash on delivery when ordering online.

Across the Middle East, 61 percent of the population is now shopping online.


The UAE is leading the region when it comes to online shopping with 71 percent of its population using e-commerce. Jordan and Morocco online shoppers remain low, with 50 percent of the population being offline.

The region's largest online population is in Egypt however, the UAE has the highest number of online buyers as a proportion of the population.


Still, 50 percent of online shoppers in the region prefer cash on delivery.


Ninety-one percent of online shoppers in Egypt still prefer cash on delivery as a method of payment, while in the UAE 33 percent of online shoppers prefer credit card payments.

The main reason consumers in the Arab world have not yet fully accepted online payments is lack of trust.