Shoppers in the UAE have been quick to opt for sustainable products and merchandise that are seen as doing their bit to help with making a true change. Now, they want their banks too to do things the green way. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: More UAE consumers are slowly making the switch to sustainable products, even if that means it will cost more.

But to make even greater contributions to the environment through their spending habits, they want their banks to help them out.

A sizeable number of UAE consumers – 69 per cent - in a new Visa survey wanted banks to help out with recommending sustainable payment options, whether that’s going for cashless ways or contactless payments. At the same time, 64 per cent will be choosing banks that have shown the credentials to going green in their operations.

A little help will also not go amiss when it comes to banks advising clients in making choices that veer towards sustainable ways.

It doesn’t end there – “Interestingly, 52 per cent of consumers also look to their banks to help them understand the environmental impact of their purchases,” says Visa in a statement. This underlines the growing demand for financial institutions to play a more active role in promoting sustainability," said Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Visa’s Senior Vice-President and Group Country Manager in GCC.

UAE consumers are gung-on on green 

In the UAE, there is a growing number of brands and products that skew towards being easy on the environment with what they do. Sure, chances are there is a premium to be paid for these merchandise or service, and consumers aware of it. Yet, they are willing to make choices that help with the greater good. 

The UAE is already a regional leader in reducing single-use plastics (with a rate of 75 per cent and surpassing the GCC average of 72 per cent). UAE consumers are doing their bit for water conservation (86 per cent) and rank second in ‘ethical sourcing’ by supporting local farmers’ market (70 per cent) across the GCC, according to the Visa findings.

But there are still hurdles getting in the way of faster adoption rates. 

  1. In the Visa poll, 65 per cent of UAE consumers suggest the issue is in the 'perceived higher cost of sustainable products'.
  2. An acute lack of awareness hobbles 54 per cent of those polled when it comes to matters of sustainability and the right practices.