Lebanese payments cards are growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.41% since 2009 and now total more than 1.8 million. In terms of transaction value, payment cards valued LBP15.5 trillion (US$10.3 billion) in 2013, running at a CAGR of 12.07%.
According to a new report marketed by Research & Markets the introduction of improved cards, rising consumer awareness for electronic payments, adoption of advanced technologies such as PayWave and PayPass feature, EMV technology and contactless cards all contributed towards the growth in payment cards.
In 2013, the average transaction value (ATV) in Lebanon was US$177.6, which was the fifth highest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Kuwait recorded the highest ATV, with US$319.6, followed by the UAE (US$263.1), Oman (US$207.1) and Bahrain (US$185.3). In terms of card penetration, Lebanon had the ninth highest level of 0.4 cards per inhabitant, followed by Iran (2.4), the UAE (2), South Africa (1.3), Kuwait (1.3), Israel (1.1), Oman (1.0), Bahrain (0.8) and Saudi Arabia (0.7).
Lebanon ranked seventh among the other MENA countries in the frequency of use of payment cards, with 31.9 transactions per card. Israel recorded the highest frequency with 131.2, followed by Saudi Arabia (95.3), Kuwait (47.4), Iran (46.5), the UAE (43.1) and Nigeria (38.2).
The prepaid cards market is growing rapidly, and is expected to surpass debit, credit and charge cards in terms of number of cards in circulation by 2018. In terms of the number of cards in circulation, the prepaid cards market in Lebanon increased with 107,702 cards in circulation in 2013, which is anticipated to increase to 2.3 million cards in 2018. To promote such cards, Byblos Bank and Blom Bank are offering cards at different prices ranging from LBP12,060-LBP376,875 (US$8-US$250), targeting the young population (from the age of 12 years) and regular internet surfers who prefer to make purchases online.
2009: 1.60 million
2010: 1.65 million
2011: 1.70 million
2012: 1.75 million
2013: 1.80 million
Source: Research & Markets; CardData
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