United Arab Emirates (UAE) has experienced steady economic recovery in the last two years, resulting in resumption of many construction projects which had been stopped during the economic downturn. This has led to an influx of foreign labourers in the country, which in turn drove demand for prepaid cards such as payroll cards and remittance payment cards. With continuing economic recovery and preparations for World Expo 2020 underway, other prepaid card categories that we expect to post strong growth over the next five years include transport cards, gift cards, and general purpose reloadable cards.
In 2015, DubaiCard was launched for the residents of the emirate. The prepaid card allowed cardholders to make cashless payments both domestically and overseas, at stores and online, and also to withdraw cash from ATMs. DubaiCard is one of the first cards in the world that can be issued and activated instantly through Smart Kiosks. To ensure KYC compliance, the cardholder’s details are taken by scanning information from their Emirates identity card and passport through an electronic reader in the self-service kiosk. Funds can be loaded to the prepaid card while it is being encoded, personalized, and activated in the kiosk.
As millennials are driving prepaid card adoption across countries, card issuers in the UAE are focusing on designing prepaid cards in a more engaging and fun manner, using themes that interest the millennials.
Preparations for World Expo 2020 is expected to have resulted in creation of more than 250,000 jobs, many of which are being taken up by foreign workers. This is likely to increase demand for payroll cards in the region. Some card issuers are targeting the low wage foreign workers in UAE, who are typically unbanked and need to send money back to their home countries, and launching services that include ability to remit money directly from the payroll card, loading mobile phones directly from the card, and providing microcredit that is loaded onto a users’ payroll card.
Over the next five years, PayNXT360 expects more prepaid card issuers to enter the market as they aim to capitalize on this high growth potential market. This is expected to intensify the competition as well as compel card issuers to introduce innovative prepaid products in the market, to be able to differentiate their offerings and capture market share.
Want to gain deeper understanding of prepaid card dynamics in UAE?
Announcing the ‘Prepaid Cards Market Intelligence’ series – “UAE Prepaid Cards Business and Investment Opportunities – Market Size and Forecast (2011-2020), Targeting Strategies, Analysis of Business Trends, Consumer Attitude & Behaviour, Retail Spend, Market Risk, Competitive Landscape and Market Innovation”.
This report from PayNXT360 provides a strategic analysis of prepaid (pay before) cards, offering a wealth of insights to help companies understand this growing but quickly changing market:
- Market dynamics: Provides a comprehensive view on size and structure, industry dynamics, market trends, consumer attitude and behaviour, and competitive landscape in prepaid card industry.
- Open loop and closed loop: Provides market estimates and forecasts to assess opportunities in open loop and closed loop prepaid market segments. Details four essential KPIs – number of cards in circulation, numbers transactions, load value, and value of transactions.
- Prepaid card categories: Details market opportunities across 11 market segments in prepaid cards for the period 2011-2020 and identifies potential risks, and consumer adoption. Card categories include – Gift Cards, Teen and Campus Cards, General Purpose Reloadable Cards, Remittance Cards, Travel Cards, Business Expense Cards, Payroll Cards, Corporate Incentive Cards, Consumer Incentives, Government Benefit & Other Program Cards, Healthcare & Insurance Cards.
- Benchmarking and risk index: Benchmarks the prepaid card industry in the country with key global markets along with a risk assessment through PayNXT360’s proprietary Prepaid Cards Industry Risk Index (PCIRI).
- Consumer attitude and behaviour: Drawing from proprietary survey results, this report identifies and interprets key prepaid KPIs, including spend by age, gender, and income level. In addition, it provides an overview of how consumers are currently using prepaid cards across five key categories – travel, bill payment, retail spend, cash withdrawal, and P2P transfers. It also provides a breakdown by transaction size.
- Retail spend: Breaks down retail spend across 11 categories to provide detailed insights on consumer behaviour and changing dynamics of prepaid card spend.
- Gift cards: Drawing from proprietary survey results, this report provides in-depth analysis of opportunities in both open loop and closed loop prepaid gift card categories. Assesses consumer behaviour by type of consumer (retail and corporate), gifting occasion, card type (paper, plastic, digital), and market share by retail categories.
- Innovation and market strategies: Explores prepaid card strategies, including innovations across categories, competitive positioning, and new product launches.
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