50% of UAE mobile users interested in mobile wallet services
Source: TNS MENA , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Mon July 23, 2012 10:59 am

UAE. Mobile transactions look set to becoming a staple payment method as technology advances and trust in remote transaction gets the thumbs up from the region’s consumers, according to Steve Hamilton-Clark, CEO of TNS MENA.

He cited the recently-published global Mobile Life Study by TNS which revealed that half of mobile phone users in the United Arab Emirates are interested in using their device as a mobile wallet to pay for goods and services. This rose to 69 per cent of users surveyed in Saudi Arabia. 

“Using a mobile device to bank or shop is fast becoming the norm. Worldwide mobile payment transactions are anticipated to increase by more than 60 per cent this year alone, with over 212 million uses amassing transactional values surpassing US$171.5 billion,” he said.

Hamilton-Clark said that it is the world’s emerging economies who are fast to latch on to the attributes of the mobile wallet but warned that security emerged as a primary barrier to adoption and a key reason for the slow take-up of the mobile wallet in many markets, including much of Europe and North America. 

TNS’s annual Mobile Life study explored mobile usage among 48,000 people in 58 countries. The study confirms the massive potential but warns that deeper understanding of consumer needs, the removal of entry barriers and enhanced online security are required before a full embrace can take place.

“Interestingly, the mobile wallet is perceived to be safer than cash in some countries more than others, especially in Asia and Africa.  However, closer to home, the study uncovered some scepticism, with just 24 per cent and 31 per cent of respondents in Saudi and the UAE respectively saying that they were presently comfortable with online security facilities.”

On the other hand, he said that Indonesia has a 71 per cent comfort level, and in Uganda 43 per cent of those surveyed believe that with mobile transactions are secure.
“Despite different drivers and slow uptake across western markets, one out of three mobile users in the Middle East region looks ready to adopt the use of a mobile wallet.

“Indeed, the research suggests that we have reached a global tipping point and mobile financial services looks here to stay,” Hamilton-Clark concluded.

About Mobile Life
Mobile Life is an annual investigation into the behaviours, motivations and priorities of the world’s mobile phone users. Now in its seventh year, Mobile Life is the most comprehensive view of how the world’s consumers are using their phones today and the opportunities this presents for brands.

Based on 48,000 conversations in 58 countries, Mobile Life is designed to capture the entire population of mobile users in each market and includes:  Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cote D’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Uganda, UK, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam.


TNS operates across a vast network of over 80 countries and is one of the leading global custom marketing research organisations. TNS MENA was established in 1980 to cater to the growing markets of the Middle East.

Today TNS MENA is one of the largest full-service marketing research agency in the MENA region, with 140+ research consultants delivering accurate business insight and counsel to its 200 plus clients. In the MENA region TNS focuses on creating valuable market research in leading sectors including FMCG, Technology, Finance, Media, Healthcare, Automotive. Every year TNS MENA conducts over 900,000 quantitative interviews and 3,500 qualitative conversations.

TNS MENA has pioneered Consumer understanding studies in regional markets with studies such as Arab as a Consumer (ARAC), Brands, Islam and the New Muslim Consumer (led by Ogilvy), Digital Life and Mobile Life. The Arab as a Consumer study is a syndicated study organised by TNS MENA since 1987. Apart from ARAC, TNS has also conducted Shabab Tek, a youth study that offers unique insights into the GCC youth markets. TNS is now conducting Iraqi As A Consumer 2012 (IRAC), Corporate Reputation Program (UAE and KSA) and MarketSensus (large scale demographic study) in KSA and UAE.



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UAE. Total wealth in the GCC stood at US$ 1.7 tillion in 2014, up 4.75% from 2013; Total wealth in Saudi Arabia and UAE grew by 5%; Global household wealth up 8.3% to US$263 trillion, driven by the US and Europe, according to Credit Suisse Research Institute.