· As of Q3 2014, 3/4th of Visa-branded cards in Qatar are debit cards
· Electronic payments in Qatar register steady growth with spends on Visa cards rising by 22% year-on-year
· On credit cards, international spends account for 33% of total transaction volumes, indicative of the growing affluence of Qatari residents
· Top categories for domestic spend are government services, retail and supermarkets; cross-border spend is highest in luxury retail and hotel stays
Doha, 03 February 2015: Visa (NYSE:V), the global leader in electronic payments, today held a media roundtable in Doha to announce top findings on the Qatar market, based on Q3 2014 data from VisaNet, the firm’s global payment processing network, and from industry sources.
Notably, debit cards accounted for about three-fourths of all Visa cards in circulation in Qatar in Q3 of 2014, indicating that the credit card business in the country still holds untapped potential.
Speaking at the event, Visa also highlighted that Qatar continues to witness a major shift from traditional to electronic payments, indicated by the 22 percent rise over the previous year in point-of-sale transaction value for the period ending September 30, 2014.
In addition, one out of every three dollars spent on a Visa credit card issued in Qatar is spent internationally – a sign of the growing share of travel expenses, cross-border purchases and e-commerce volumes.
According to VisaNet data, cardholder spending in Qatar was mainly directed towards government services, retail and supermarkets. Retail also emerged as a top category in international spending on Visa cards by Qatar residents, accompanied by hotel accommodation.
Rahul Joshi, Visa Country Manager for Qatar, said: “Visa card usage in Qatar is growing at a consistent, promising pace, although cardholders in this market are still largely skewed towards our debit products. With international spending on the rise, and a promising outlook for e-Commerce in the region, we expect Qatar to register strong growth in credit card acceptance and use in the coming years.
“Visa is committed to working with our financial institution clients and merchant partners to grow their business, as well as drive value for Visa cardholders in Qatar. We will continue to leverage our strong partnerships in the country to increase consumer engagement, and create a secure electronic payments infrastructure for Visa cardholders.”
Looking towards 2015, Visa aims to roll out its LoungeKey global airport access feature on its premium credit products in Qatar, including Visa Infinite and Visa Signature. The new LoungeKey program offers unlimited, complimentary access to over 500 airport lounges worldwide in more than 300 cities globally, and will cover all key travel destinations. Customers will also have access to a mobile application, website and 24/7 contact centre for any enquiries.
Visa will seek to drive face-to-face transactions in Qatar through solutions such as Visa Ready Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS), which is intended to facilitate a reliable, convenient and secure mobile point of sale experience. Also, Visa payWave, the latest in contactless payment technology, is expected to be available in Qatar soon. And, Visa aims to support the growth of e-Commerce in Qatar in the coming years, by creating a safe and secure environment for online purchases with globally preferred solutions such as Verified by Visa (VbV).
Joshi added: “At Visa, we believe new technologies and innovations have a profound impact on the way people shop, pay and get paid globally. One of our main priorities in Qatar is to build greater acceptance of progressive and smart payment technology among merchants, and also to educate customers on the safety and convenience of transacting with Visa.”