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LONDON: A recent report by Mastercard has revealed a rise in the use  of digital payment methods in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Mastercard’s New Payments Index 2022 found that 85 percent of MENA consumers have used at least one emerging payment method in the last year, including tappable smartphone mobile wallets, buy now, pay later schemes, biometrics, and payment-enabled wearable tech devices. 

While traditional payment methods remain popular, 19 percent of MENA consumers reported using less cash in the past year.

According to the report, security is a key factor when deciding what payment methods to use. Other factors are ease of use, rewards and promotions. 

Sustainability is also a key driver in the region, with 31 percent of MENA consumers citing social and environmental benefits as factors.

BNPL instalments are increasingly used as a budgeting tool in the region, the report found. About  45 percent of MENA consumers said they are comfortable using BNPL today.

“Consumers want the flexibility and convenience of BNPL, but with the sense of security associated with a trusted provider like a bank or payment network,” the report noted.

MENA consumers are also turning to fintech, with 73 percent using open banking to meet their daily financial needs.

Furthermore, 64 percent agreed that using biometrics rather than a card or device makes payments easier.