Credit cards continue to remain the most popular payment option in the UAE, despite the increase in use of prepaid cards, according to Gulf News citing industry sources.

According to credit and prepaid card services provider Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Finance CEO, Rasool Hujair, credit cards constitute more than half of the non-cash transactions in the UAE.

“Credit cards still prove by far the most popular when it comes to cash-less payment methods. The percentage split is 80/20 favouring credit cards.

“The most important feature [of credit card is that] the holder has the flexibility of settling the amount in full or overtime. Prepaid cards are not designed to replace credit cards. Each product has its own segment and target audience to which it caters,” Hujair added.

According to Network International, a payment solution provider in the Middle East, CEO, Bhairav Trivedi, the UAE’s credit card penetration rate of 53 cards per 100 adults is the largest in the region and in line with the 2012 global average of 52 cards per adult.

“In the UAE, we have been witnessing the importance of debit cards as payment instruments increasing significantly. We have observed that this trend is unfolding at the cost of credit cards, as customers shifted their card usage at the POS from credit cards to debit cards,” Trivedi added.