online shopping
49 per cent are now shopping online more and 48 per cent will continue to buy online Image Credit: Stock image

Dubai: Sixty eight per cent of UAE residents have reduced in-store shopping since the coronavirus outbreak and 49 per cent are shopping online more, according to a survey on how the pandemic has affected consumer behaviour commissioned by Dubai Police, Dubai Economy and financial services provider Visa.

All three have banded together to launch a ‘Stay Secure’ campaign for online purchases.

When people do shop in stores, 71 per cent are using digital payments over cash, 54 per cent are using contactless cards and 46 per cent are using mobile wallets.

For those shopping online more, 61 per cent use cards or digital wallets to pay online.

Forty-three per cent said they would continue to use contactless payments in-store after the pandemic and 48 per cent said they will continue to opt for online payment by card or digital wallet.

Neil Fernandes, Visa’s Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa, said, “The pandemic has changed how consumers shop and pay with increased reliance on and preference for digital commerce. With increased usage both among experienced and first-time users, cybercriminals too are keen to capitalise on the increased activity and vulnerability, especially of first-time online shoppers.”

Ahmad Al Zaabi, Director of Consumer Protection in the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector, Dubai Economy, said, “The study shows that consumer behaviour changes due to the pandemic – such as shifting online and increasing use of digital payments, are likely to continue even after the pandemic – an important take-away for businesses developing strategies for the post-COVID-19 consumer and market overall. Dubai Economy has been promoting online shopping and contactless payments not only to ensure safe shopping during the COVID-19 crisis but also as part of our larger goal of accelerating the digital transformation of economic activity, particularly retailing, in Dubai. With malls and commercial outlets already reopened in Dubai contactless payment promises to add to the safety, convenience and overall consumer experience of shopping in the city.”

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jalaf, Director of Criminal Investigation Department in Dubai Police, said, “Government authorities, private sector, and the local community all have an important part to play to ensure we are all protected. Dubai Police is very pleased to partner with Visa and Dubai Economy on this Stay Secure initiative, which not only helps amplify our efforts towards reducing fraud and cybercrime in the UAE but also echoes our recent National Fraud Awareness campaign to address this threat.”