The UAE card payments market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6% between 2024 and 2028 to reach AED764.1bn ($208.2bn) in 2028, according to GlobalData, publishers of EPI.

GlobalData Payment Cards Analytics

GlobalData’s Payment Cards Analytics reveals that card payments value in the UAE registered a growth of 17.7% in 2022, followed by 14.6% in 2023 to reach AED451.4bn ($123.0bn), supported by a constant consumer shift towards electronic payments and a rise in consumer spending.

Ravi Sharma, Lead Banking and Payments Analyst at GlobalData, said: “While cash remains the most preferred mode of payment, the dynamic is gradually changing with the rise in card payments. The UAE payment card market can be characterised as rapidly growing and innovative.

“Persistent efforts from the government as well as financial institutions to promote electronic payments via financial inclusion initiatives as well as developing and expanding payment acceptance infrastructure have encouraged consumers to use electronic payments for day-to-day transactions.”

The UAE is robustly moving towards the digitalisation of payments. Various financial inclusion measures by the government and the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) such as the introduction of the Wage Protection System and Financial Infrastructure Transformation (FIT) Program are supporting the cashless infrastructure, which is seen in the expansion of POS terminals and developments in the card and mobile payments space.

Among POS, mobile POS terminals are emerging as an alternative payment acceptance solution—especially among SMEs (which account for most UAE businesses) due to being comparatively much cheaper than the traditional POS terminals.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

According to the UAE SME Council, as of mid-2022, there were 557,000 SMEs in the country. This figure is expected to reach one million by 2030. For example, in May 2022, payment services provider Foloosi partnered with Mastercard to launch the Tap on Phone solution for SMEs. This enables merchants to convert Android mobile devices into payment acceptance terminals that accept payments via cards, mobile wallets, and smartwatches.

Government initiatives boost cash displacement

The UAE government is taking several other initiatives to reduce the dependence on cash and promote electronic payments thereby benefiting card payments. Some of the notable measures include the launch of the Cashless Dubai initiative to shift all payment transactions such as payment to merchants, and payment for government services to electronic payments within the city.

Sharma added: “The UAE payment card market is expected to continue its upward growth trajectory supported by the government initiatives promoting electronic payments, rising consumer preference for digital payments, and improving payment infrastructure. The card payments value is expected to register a growth of 13.3% to reach AED511.4bn in 2024.”