More UAE consumers now pay with credit, debit cards instead of cash

Dubai: For many people in the UAE, cash is dying.  According to the latest data supplied by a market research firm, UAE consumers are increasingly living in a cashless world and abandoning their beloved paper bills and coins in favour of plastic money.

From paying for everyday things, restaurant meals and utility bills and footing the cost of high-value transactions, residents are just content with swiping away their cards.

The latest data from Euromonitor International showed that UAE consumers splashed out a whopping $59 billion (Dh216 billion) on goods and services using only their credit, debit and prepaid cards in 2017.

The figure accounts for 45 per cent of all sales transactions at retail shops and other business outlets around the country – more than all the other payment types combined in the UAE. By 2020, plastic money will clearly overtake cash as a preferred mode of payment, representing a little over 50 per cent of all transactions.

Cash payments, on the other hand, were worth a total of $40 billion last year, accounting for just a third of all the transactions. And by 2020, paper money will represent only 27.8 per cent of all purchases, down from 31.7 per cent in 2017.