Both people living and visiting the United Arab Emirates are turning to prepaid cards and prepaid payments as a more viable solution, according to data emerging from the region.
The number of people using a prepaid card more than quadrupled towards the end of 2012, and it is believed that there has been a steady increase in those using them since then.
Those not wishing to carry around large sums of cash or who do not want a credit card with high interest rates are instead considering their prepaid options.
With its numerous malls and high rise buildings, much of the UAE is a shopper’s paradise, while there are also plenty of other attractions to see.
From architectural masterpieces to unearthing some gems of the forgotten past, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the surrounding region is packed full of things to see and do.
‘Big potential for prepaid cards’
According to Network International, a payment solutions provider, prepaid cards in the UAE are quickly catching up with both credit and debit cards.
“There is certainly a big market potential for prepaid cards in the UAE, especially across categories such as transport, gift, general purpose, youth, payroll and remittance,” said Bhairav Trivedi, chief executive officer of Network International.
The growth of prepaid card usage in the UAE has also stemmed from the introduction of the Wages Protection System, whereby UAE institutions must pay employee wages electronically.
This means that money is either transferred to a bank account or to a prepaid card, enabling many workers to keep a keen eye on their finances.
It is believed that prepaid card transactions account for approximately 2.5% of all cashless payments carried out in the UAE, although that figure could be higher.
Prepaid cards can also be used by businesses to track expenses payments, while the UAE has also seen a rise in the number of people who hand them to friends and family as gifts.
Using a prepaid card
It is not only in the UAE where prepaid cards are popular though, as it is also possible to use them in a number of locations across the globe.
Those looking to travel could consider them as an option, while prepaid cards could also be used to manage finances effectively a little closer to home.
A prepaid card limits spending to the amount which is on the card at any given time and is not directly linked to a bank account, ultimately making your funds safer.
The cards can easily be topped up or replaced if required, while accounts can be checked regularly online if necessary.