- Week-long consumer education campaign promoting safe online shopping habits and protection against different types of payment-related frauds
- Survey reveals Egypt’s key online shopping and card security trends
Cairo, Egypt; May 14, 2017: Global payments technology company, Visa (NYSE:V), in partnership with the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), today launched the first Egypt Card Security Week. The theme of the week is staying safe when shopping online, which highlights the work of both organizations to protect consumers against different types of payment-related frauds and supporting the growth of Egypt’s e-commerce sector.
Ahmed Al Wakeel, Chairman, FEDCOC, said: “The rapid growth of Egypt’s e-commerce sector is creating many new opportunities for merchants irrespective of size and operating in all sectors. As we look to maintain this momentum, it is important that we proactively address any issues and concerns consumers may have about this emerging sector of the economy. That is why FEDCOC is proud to work with Visa to launch the first-ever Egypt Card Security Week, which we believe can play an important role in growing the interlinked digital payments and commerce ecosystems.”
Khalil Hassan Khalil, Digital Economy and Technology General Division Chairman, FEDOC added: “The growth of e-commerce in Egypt is essential to job creation, innovation and financial inclusion. If we are to focus on the development of this market, then it is equally important to promote responsible online shopping among consumers. We support Visa in this commendable initiative and hope to reach out to the online shoppers in the country with efficient yet simple self-protection measures, so that they can enjoy a seamless and secure digital payment experience.”
To help promote a safe and secure payment ecosystem, Visa and FEDCOC surveyed consumers across Egypt to understand their experiences, attitudes and behaviors regarding e-commerce and card payments.
A country of keen online shoppers
The Visa commissioned survey found that over half of the people in Egypt (53 percent) are frequent online shoppers, with one in ten using e-commerce sites almost every day. However, with 47 percent of people shopping online every 2-3 weeks or less, there is a huge opportunity for further expansion of the sector over the coming years.
Younger people are the most frequent shoppers, with 63 percent of 18-25 year-olds shopping online at least once a week. They are also the biggest spenders, with approximately a third (31 percent) claiming to spend EGP5,000 or more each month. The average monthly spend reported across all age groups was EGP3,758.
Consumer goods are driving the popularity of online shopping, with electronics (64 percent), clothing (44 percent), personal grooming products (34 percent) and books (33 percent) being far up of the top ten goods and services most commonly purchased online. Travel and entertainment is the other main driver, with flights and hotels purchased online by more than 40 percent of people.
Security and quality concerns could be holding back e-commerce
The survey identified reluctance among some consumers to pay electronically for certain goods and services they buy online. For all product categories surveyed, there is a 3-13 percent difference between consumers buying and paying for goods and services online, with the trend particularly popular with electronics, personal grooming, clothes/apparels, and restaurant orders. This discrepancy creates unnecessary friction in the system, such as the inconvenience to consumers of having to take out money, and the cost to merchants of handling cash and cheques.
Payments by card and cash on delivery (both 69 percent) are equally common methods for paying online in Egypt. The security of transactions when using payment cards online is important to the overwhelming majority of people (81 percent). Many payment card users (52 percent) are comfortable using digital payments on e-commerce sites, while non-users (23 percent), are more apprehensive. This suggests the more consumers use their cards, the more secure they feel.
The survey found that when consumers are alert while shopping online, the reported incidence of card fraud is actually relatively low (at 15 percent). However, older people seem to have been slightly more affected, with 20 percent of 46-55-year-olds saying they have been a victim of payment card fraud, compared to 12 percent of 18-25-year-olds. This could suggest that the generation that has grown up in a digital world is potentially more aware of the risks.
Fully unlocking Egypt’s e-commerce opportunity
Approximately a third of respondents (42 percent) say, a barrier to them when paying by card online is that they want to see the product first-hand before making payment, while the same number choose cash on delivery because it assures the product will arrive.
Consumer anxiety about shopping online are exacerbated by concerns about unfamiliar websites, with only 30 percent reporting that they would shop from sites they do not know.
The study suggests that one of the keys to expanding the e-commerce sector and increasing the use of digital payments is for merchants to offer better websites, stronger data protection and a smoother refund or replacement policy. More discounts and rewards would also influence 67 percent of respondents to pay electronically when shopping online.
A safe and secure online shopping environment
Visa encourages online shoppers to take measures to protect their cards when shopping online. For instance, by not sending their card number and CVV by email or phone, by avoiding unfamiliar websites, by not entering card details on suspicious promotions that seem too good to be true and by activating tools like Verified by Visa, (VbV), an authentication tool that ensures payments are made by the rightful owner of the Visa account.
Tarek Mahfouz, Country Manager of Egypt, Visa, commented: “With consumers in Egypt increasingly transacting digitally, the need to build and maintain trust in the sector becomes imperative. There is nothing more important to the Visa payment network than trust, and to overcome consumer concerns and to unlock Egypt’s full e-commerce potential, we advocate a multi-layered security approach to tackling fraud, with the cardholder an integral part of the solution. Equally, there are a number of relatively simple steps merchants can take to build further trust in the online shopping experience. We believe the first Egypt Card Security Week is an opportunity to achieve both.”
An important part of Visa’s multi-layered approach is Visa Token Service, which replaces the traditional 16-digit primary account number (PAN) with a digital “token” for online purchases and transactions initiated with mobile devices. Visa is working to bring tokenization to e-commerce, which will provide added security to online transactions by removing cardholder information from the merchant environment.
Egypt Card Security Week is a key component of Visa’s ongoing efforts to support governments across the world move to cashless societies and achieve their visions of creating smart cities, and build on similar initiatives in the UAE and South Africa.