The UAE is the world’s eighth most cashless society, as the pandemic fueled the country’s already fast-growing digital payments sector, a new survey reported.
The survey result was revealed by the UK-based price comparison website money.co.uk in its latest Cashless Countries Report. The countries with cashless economies were revealed using data from the World Bank and the largest debit and credit card providers in the world.
Each country was given a score out of 100 to assess which countries are abandoning the banknote in favor of e-wallets and electronic transactions, based on factors such as the percentage of the population (aged 15 and up) who owns a credit card and a debit card, the number of ATMs per 100,000 people, contactless payment limits, and the number of major e-wallet operators in the country.
Canada topped the list with a score of 79.1 out of 100, leading the way in terms of plastic payment. It is estimated that 83 percent of the population owns a credit card, the highest usage in the world.
According to the rating, Hong Kong is the world’s second-most cashless economy (76.8), followed by Singapore (76.2).
UAE became the first cashless country in the middle east with a score of 72.1. 83 percent of the UAE’s population own a debit card and four major e-wallet providers are in operation.
“Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were beginning to see a global shift away from paper money towards electronic payments. However, the pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated this,” James Andrews, a senior personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said.
“In the past 12 months, we’ve witnessed more than 40 countries increase the limits for contactless payments,” Mr. Andrews added.
Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Norway, UAE, Switzerland, Finland are the top 10 cashless countries according to the report.