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MasterCard Launches New Digital Payment System, MasterPass In UAE

RAK Bank, Mashreq and Emirates NBD will offer digital wallets using the MasterPass system in the UAE.

Payments solutions provider MasterCard announced that it has launched its digital payment system, MasterPass, in the UAE.

Digital wallets using MasterPass will allow consumers to store all their MasterCard and other branded payment card information, shipping and billing address details in one place. This will help them make online payments quickly and safely, the company said in a statement.

“With a single click, tap or touch of the MasterPass button at checkout, consumers can access their preferred digital wallet and authenticate a payment,” said Eyad Al-Kourdi, Country Business head – UAE, MasterCard.

MasterCard has partnered with three local issuing banks including RAK Bank, Mashreq and Emirates NBD to offer digital wallets powered by MasterPass.

To sign up, customers need to register online with their preferred issuing bank. Cardholders will then be able to access their digital wallet when they shop at any participating merchant’s website, by selecting “Buy with MasterPass” as the payment option at checkout.

Launched last year, MasterPass is available in 13 countries worldwide and has been adopted by over 60,000 online merchants.

In the UAE, over 25 retailers have signed up for it so far, although only two have been named – Novo Cinemas and Aido.com. Many more major retailers will soon adopt the system, MasterCard said.

Going ahead, MasterPass will also enable in-app and in-store purchases, the statement said.

“According to research, over 67 per cent of online purchases are abandoned before completing the payment process,” said Al-Kourdi.

“With the checkout process reduced to a few clicks or taps, merchants can look forward to fewer customers discarding their online shopping trolley. With e-commerce rapidly increasing in the UAE, customers as well as merchants are looking for secure and convenient online payment solutions.”

E-commerce is booming in the Middle East, with sales expected to touch $15 billion by 2015, up from $9 billion in 2012, according to a recent report by payment solutions provider Payfort.

Out of a total of 4.43 million buyers, the UAE accounts for the majority, with 3.6 million e-commerce customers, it stated.

However, the report also found that 80 per cent of online transactions are still cash-on-delivery (COD) impacting the e-commerce ecosystem.

“For merchants that deal with COD as their main payment option, costs can range from $10 to $30 per shipment due to high product returns, re-stocking and re-shelving of undelivered products, cash-handling costs, thefts, and customers abandoning payments on delivery,” the report said.

In addition, merchants might have to wait for weeks before they settle their funds.

Experts have urged for a change in e-commerce payment solutions, even as credit card usage rates rise across the region.

By Aarti Nagraj
November 26, 2014
Gulf Business