After Covid 19, a large majority of residents in the UAE (about 63%) prefer their country becoming cashless with men holding the view to women. When 67 per cent of the men wanted their country to become cashless, only 55 per cent of women preferred electronic payment mode, according to a survey by YouGov.
The survey also found that high-income households (earning AED 25000+ monthly) also have high preference for electronic payment than the others.
The YouGov survey said that the transaction of electronic payment was seen more after the Covid 19 pandemic. It said that ever since the Coronavirus pandemic engulfed the country, people seem to prefer going cashless and slightly more than half (52%) claimed to have paid in cash less often since the outbreak. However, a small proportion (17%) has paid in cash more often since the outbreak with high-income individuals (AED 25.000+) more likely than others to have done so.
The YouGov said that availability of cash was not affected amidst the crisis and residents had access to cash both from free ATMS ( with 85% saying they find it very or fairly easy to access cash from here) as well as from an ATM that charges a fee for a transaction (68% saying this), the report said. In their day-to-day lives, cash is mostly used to make payments for very or fairly cheap items in physical stores, while cards (debitor credit) are used to make expensive (fairly or very expensive) purchases. Very few are using digital modes of payment for any of these purchases.
When it comes to making purchases in shops, a higher number of respondents consider it important to be able to make payments through credit or debit cards (79%), compared to cash (56%) or digital means like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay etc. (58%). Contactless payment, either through cards (86%) or digital wallets (69%), appears to be more important to high-income members (AED 25,000+) than the rest of the population.
However, when it comes to personal services such as getting transportation, haircut, hiring a window cleaner, etc, seven in ten prefer making payments in cash (70%). Perhaps despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation, residents may not always have a choice of making these payments in any other form. The data indicate a large proportion of residents (67%) consider it important to have the option of paying with a card for these services, regardless of the circumstances. Comparatively, fewer favour digital modes of payment (56%) and it seems the use of this medium is less popular among residents than the other forms of payment.