Digital payments become more popular among UAE travelers

DUBAI, UAE — Digital contactless payment has become more popular among UAE travelers as they prefer to make payments and seek information in a visual format on a device, according to a latest global

Digital payments become more popular among UAE travelers

DUBAI, UAE — Digital contactless payment has become more popular among UAE travelers as they prefer to make payments and seek information in a visual format on a device, according to a latest global industry study.

Around 32% of UAE respondents find using their phone rather than cash or credit cards to pay for things “extremely appealing” as against 24 per cent globally, revealed a major global industry study “From chaos to collaboration: How transformative technologies will herald a new era in travel”.

Commissioned by Amadeus, a travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, the new report outlines the way new technologies and social change will transform travel by 2020. The study challenges the industry to overcome the uncertainty and stress of modern-day travel through the application of new innovations.

High mobile penetration in the UAE is cited as a key reason for travelers’ readiness to use mobile applications and devices at payment points. Statistics show that the UAE is expected to lead with 100 per cent mobile broadband penetration in 2012 while the mobile market penetration has already crossed 200 per cent.

“Traveler needs are definitely seeing a dramatic change in the UAE with customers preferring advanced mobile applications and devices to conduct transactions. This reflects evolving changes in consumer lifestyle and travel requirements. The travel sector is also beginning to realise that the world is changing and travellers will increasingly expect intelligent information exchange,” said Humayun Baig, Amadeus’ regional market manager in charge of the UAE, Oman and Bahrain. Based on extensive research and input from key industry experts, the study explores six key areas in which future technology and innovation could be deployed.

According to the study, developed by leading global foresight and futures consultancy The Futures Company, factors such as augmented reality, gamification, intelligent passenger records, long range biometrics and the rise of the wellbeing agenda will drive change in the next decade and beyond, heralding a new era of industry and global travel collaboration.

Amadeus’s global report highlighted that travelers in the UAE prefer making payments via mobile rather than using cash or credit card. More than 90% of the UAE respondents found mobile payments “somewhat appealing” as opposed to 78% of the respondents among the other countries surveyed.

The study also revealed that 94% of the UAE respondents preferred using visual applications that reflect the physical world on the mobile device. Augmented reality, which is a virtual view on the real world, is experienced in applications such as games, location apps and business cards. Other findings in the study reveal that 56% of UAE respondents cited having a strict boundary between work and personal life, while 66% of Emirati respondents stressed the importance of being reachable and available at all times, much more than the total response rate of 48%.

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