For businesses operating in the digital space, particularly those working on e-commerce and digital payments, the COVID-19 pandemic and the following global lockdown have been a blessing. Indeed, Pakistan is set for an enormous growth in each of these industries in 2021, according to the latest survey.
The survey conducted by leading global payment solution provider Checkout, entitled Connected Payments in MENAP, revealed that the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistani regions offer a major growth opportunity for the digital payments industry. These regions are now going through a process dominated by cash payments, with an increasing number of online customers choosing payment through digital ways instead of cash on delivery.
In September 2020, the survey collected data from over 5,000 customers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Pakistan. Across these countries, a strong 47 percent of customers said they plan to buy more frequently online over the next year. Just 15% expect their online shopping behavior to decrease, while the remaining 38% think it will not change.
As for Pakistan in particular, in 2021, a definite 39 percent of surveyors plan to shop online and perform digital transactions more often.
According to EVP of Global e-commerce at Checkout Sebastian Reis, the sudden rise this year in e-commerce and digital payments is not going to be a temporary improvement. If anything, for the long run, we should expect it to continue in this way.
He stated, “While this year there has been a sudden rise in e-commerce and digital payments due to the effects of COVID-19, our study shows that what we see today is more than a temporary shift in consumer conduct. Since the start of the pandemic in the country, our internal data shows an 86% rise in digital payment transactions on our platform.”.
The study goes on to highlight that the online buying of prepared meals (41 percent report ordering food online in higher quantities), clothing (37 percent), food (33 percent), and electronics (30 percent) has experienced a remarkable boost.