The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing global lockdown have basically been a blessing for companies operating in the digital space, especially those working on e-commerce and digital payments. Indeed, according to a recent report, Pakistan is set for massive growth in each of these industries in 2021.
The survey, entitled Connected Payments in MENAP, conducted by leading global payment solution provider Checkout revealed that the Middle Eastern, North African, and Pakistani regions pose a significant growth opportunity for the digital payments industry. Historically dominated by cash payments, these regions are now going through a phase featuring a growing number of online shoppers preferring payment by digital means rather than by cash on delivery.
The survey collected its data from more than 5,000 consumers in September 2020 in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Pakistan. Across these countries, a considerable 47 percent of consumers said that they expect to be shopping online more frequently over the course of the next year. A mere 15 percent expect their online shopping activity to decline, while the remaining 38 percent believe it won’t change.
As for Pakistan in particular, a resounding 39 percent of surveyors expect to be shopping online and conducting digital transactions more frequently in 2021.
According to EVP of Global e-commerce at Checkout Sebastian Reis, the sudden surge in e-commerce and digital payments this year is not going to be a temporary change. If anything, we can expect it to continue in this way for the long term.
“While there has been a sudden surge in e-commerce and digital payments this year due to the impact of COVID-19, our report suggests what we are seeing today is more than a temporary change in consumer behavior. Our internal data shows an 86% increase in digital payment transactions on our platform since the start of the pandemic in the region,” he said.
The report goes on to highlight that there has been a particularly interesting boost in the online purchase of prepared meals (41 percent report ordering food online in greater quantities), clothing (37 percent), groceries (33 percent), and electronics (30 percent).