Majority of consumers prefer debit & credit cards for online shopping: Visa Survey

Karachi, September 24, 2019: A majority of the banks customers prefer using credit or debit for transaction of the money for various purposes in Pakistan as they feel plastic money as secure over hard cash.

The survey conducted by Visa Inc. claimed over 50 percent respondent consumers prefer card payments over cash when shopping online because they perceive cards to be safe and secure way to pay and perceive the digital payments as the only mode of payment accepted by online merchants.

In terms of online payments, cards are the preferred payment method for 50% of respondents, while 42% prefer to pay cash on delivery (COD) when shopping online.

COD drivers include the easier track-record of spends and avoid paying additional fees and charges associated with using cards although the method does not offer any benefits, rewards, or discounts as compared to the use of cards.

According to the survey, 85% respondent consumers are likely to be more open to making online payments using their card if they had the guarantee that their data is secure and 88% if they had they guarantee of a quick refund in case they wanted to return an item or had not received it.

State Bank of Pakistan said the number of debit cards stands at 23.9 million. It is followed by credit cards with 1.6 million users and prepaid cards with 0.2 million users. The most common type of cards used by online shoppers is debit cards (64%), followed by credit cards (55%), and prepaid cards (6%), the survey said.

QR Code Payments

The survey findings claimed that 32% of respondents are aware of QR payments and 18% have used it – of respondents who have used it, 80% trust the technology. Among online shoppers, 27% have used the QR solution and likeability increases to 88%, whereas, among current users of QR payments, likeability increases to 94%.

 Furthermore, 87% of respondents first introduced to QR payments consider it secure, while 79% intend to use the payment method in the near future. The main drivers for the usage of QR payments are (i) security perceptions (58%), (ii) speed of payments (50%), and (iii) convenience (48%). The main barriers to future usage are (i) lack of trust (59%), (ii) forced to link payment to card and they do not feel card payments are safe (56%), and (iii) not available on their current mobile device (56%).

The survey reveals that factors such as more education on the usage of QR payments and reassurance from bank on its security aspects is required to elevate consumers’ interest in adopting QR payments. It also reveals that majority of online shoppers (52%) prefer to shop from well-known eCommerce sites, while 55% prefer to shop from domestic sites over international eCommerce sites driven by factors such as convenience, faster delivery time, efficient after sale service and refund/return policies.

Pakistani consumers mostly purchase clothes, restaurant orders, groceries, and electronic goods when shopping online. The main drivers for shopping online are that (i) consumers feel it is more convenient (48%), (ii) have the option to compare prices (43%), and (iii) feel it is becoming safer and more reliable (42%). The main barriers are (i) concerned with difference in product online versus delivery (39%), (ii) they cannot inspect the item before purchasing (38%), and (iii) concerned that the product might not arrive on time or at all (37%). To convert non-online shoppers, merchants should continue to tackle a few areas of concerns including easier return and refund policies, more realistic product descriptions, easier payment/checkout process, POS terminal on delivery, discounts and offers.

Recommendations for Customers

Some of Visa’s key recommendations for consumers to engage in safe online shopping practices include: (i) shop at well-known eCommerce sites, (ii) avoid using public WiFi connection for transactions, (iii) look for the ‘s’ after ‘http’ in website addresses to confirm that a site offers (SSL) protection, (iv) activate Verified by Visa with your bank to secure online payments; log out whenever you leave a website, especially if using a public computer; and (v) never share your personal account information on social media, over email, phone or chat.

QR code payment is a contactless payment method performed by scanning a QR code from a mobile app, is an alternative to transferring electronic funds at point of sale using a payment terminal.

“At a time when businesses and consumers are becoming more digital and the impact of new technologies is felt by everyone everywhere, security must remain at the forefront. Pakistan has the potential to become one of the largest eCommerce markets in the world given the sector’s substantial growth in recent years.  And for eCommerce to expand further consumers need to feel secure about using online platforms. One of the ways we are harnessing this growth potential is by continuing with our mission of educating consumers on digital payments and making them aware of the multi-layered security that is in place to protect their card data. This is also pertinent at a time when Pakistan is seeking to digitize its economy,” said Kamil Khan, Country Manager for Visa in Pakistan.

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