The Middle East and Africa Digital Wallet market was valued at US$5,747.366 million in 2019. Despite holding a relatively small market share as compared to big regional markets like North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa digital wallet market is expected to show a good growth over the forecast period. The market growth in this region is majorly attributed to the solid growth of the e-commerce sector across countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel, and Turkey among others. For instance, the e-commerce industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributes more than 15% to the country’s GDP and the sector is witnessing rapid growth with a solid increase in the number of e-shoppers across the country, and the increasing number of transactions they make for products and services online. The market growth in this region is also being driven by the declining dependency of people on cash for making transactions. Continuously increasing penetration of smartphones across the Middle East and Africa, and improving access to the internet among people across countries is favoring the increase in digital transactions across the region. For instance, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to have a very high proportion of the population with access to the internet. According to data from the World Bank group, only around 23% of the UAE’s population had access to the internet in the year 2000. Since then, huge investments by telecom companies in this country, coupled with high disposable income of people (which has also increased the penetration of smartphones in this country) have been causing this figure to climb up a steep curve, which makes sense as the figure stood at 98.45% in 2018 (Source: the World Bank Group). Investments by many market players in many markets across this region are increasing the number, lucrativeness, and reliability of digital wallet options available with customers. This is further increasing the adoption of digital wallets among people, thus boosting the market growth.
In conjunction with this, continuously increasing spread of the novel coronavirus disease across this region is increasing the popularity of digital wallets among people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 9:08 am June 22, 2020, Saudi Arabia had 154,233 confirmed COVID-19 cases along with 1,230 deaths. Qatar, Iran, Egypt, UAE have also been showing a continuous increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across them. High risk of this disease spread associated with contact-based payments is making people reluctant towards using them. Since digital wallets are safer to use, and as market players continue to offer lucrative benefits to customers using their digital wallets, their adoption across this region is increasing continuously. This is increasing the payments revenue generated by market players through digital wallets, thus augmenting the market growth.
The Middle East and Africa digital wallet market has been segmented based on the device, application and country. By device, the market has been segmented as fPCs/laptops and smartphones. By application, The Middle East and Africa digital wallet market has been classified into money transfer, recharge, movie booking, food ordering, and others. By country, the regional market has been segmented into the UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Others.