The Covid-19 pandemic has been instrumental in driving the phenomenal use of digital payment platforms, especially online payment services, in the Middle East.
According to the Kaspersky Digital Payment survey, a global cybersecurity and digital privacy firm, around 93% of respondents in the Middle East reported an increase in their use of e-wallet and mobile banking services in 2021, with convenience forcing most of them to adopt financial services. technologies.
A majority of respondents (64%) said they only started using online payment services during the pandemic. In particular, online payment services helped 61% of respondents maintain social distancing. Since learned habits stay with people, 92% of respondents intend to use internet banking and e-wallets more often even after the pandemic is over, the survey shows.
The survey shows that 91% of respondents appreciated the ability to pay when and where they are, while 55% of respondents said online banking and mobile wallet services make it easier to manage financial information.
“The pandemic has been a disguised opportunity for people to understand, learn and use the digital payment services available to them for their own benefit,” said Emad Haffar, Head of Technical Experts at Kaspersky. Digital payment services are gaining more and more users despite concerns and reservations.
“However, as the cashless economy grows and evolves to meet the needs of the new normal, it is also important to understand and remain vigilant about the cyber risks associated with online transactions. As people are increasingly comfortable with access to digital payment apps, app developers and vendors must now examine cybersecurity gaps at every step of the payment process and build security features that will earn the trust of potential users, while protecting existing customers at all times,” said Emad Haffar.
As the world becomes increasingly connected through the power of digital transformation, cyberattacks have intensified, leaving people and businesses at risk of financial or reputational damage, said JK Khalil, Country General Manager, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Levant at Mastercard.
“As such, it is more vital than ever for industry leaders to act as the first line of defense in creating a secure financial ecosystem. At Mastercard, our goal is to stay one step ahead of fraudsters and to continually evolve and improve our protection of cyber environments for our banking and merchant customers as we work towards a safer future for all,” said Khalil.
Another factor closely linked to the popularity of digital payment services is the decrease in financial malware attacks in the United Arab Emirates by more than 70% in 2021 compared to 2020 according to Kaspersky experts.
“While the decrease in numbers is reassuring, the country has also seen a 42% increase in financial malware attacks on Android devices in 2021 compared to 2020. As online services rapidly increase in size and number, new vulnerabilities welcome complex cyberattacks. “, revealed the investigation.
When making reservations before using mobile banking and payment apps, users admitted their fears – fear of storing their financial data online (37%) and concern that their personal devices were not sufficiently secure (27%) . 4 in 10 also revealed that they do not trust the security of these platforms. 28% have no reservations.
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