Covid-19 Curfew Has Effect On Saudi Arabia Payments
Saudi Arabia had an estimated population of 34,813,871 as of the middle of 2020, according to UN data. Based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest UN data, the country had a population of 35,162,390 in 2021, with 84% living in urban areas, mainly in Riyadh. The median age of the population was 31.8 years.
The average annual revenue per paying user in Saudi Arabia was $602 in 2020, according to the PPRO MEAF Report. Most cross-border e-commerce purchases by Saudis are of products from China, the United States and United Arab Emirates.
Most Saudi shoppers prefer to pay by card (35%), followed by cash, other payment methods, bank transfers and e-wallets. For cashless payments, the biggest players are local schemes (95%) followed by Visa and MasterCard, according to 2020 PPRO MEAF.
According to IMF data, Saudi Arabia had a gross domestic product of $792.97 billion in 2019, which declined to $680.9 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic. As the economy continues to recover, the GDP is expected to expand to about $735.48 billion in 2021.
Internet & mobile phone trends
According to Statista, 98% of Saudis aged 15 to 34 years had internet access in 2019. According to Datareportal, there were 33.58 million internet users in January 2021. Internet penetration in Saudi Arabia stood at 95.7% in January 2021, according to the same source. Meanwhile, smartphone penetration stood at 90% by the end of 2020, according to the PPRO MEAF Report.
According to data compiled by PPRO MEAF, 72% of Saudis had bank accounts in 2020, with only 16% of them credit card holders.