Electronic payments in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region increased 16% year-on-year during the Ramadan-Eid holiday period, according to a report by payment processing firm Visa.
Total spending was $3.98bn in the region during the holiday period between 29 June and 3 August, compared to $3.43bn in the corresponding period between 8 July, 2013 and 14 August, 2013.
Groceries, financial services, jewellery, family clothing and government services were the top five spending categories in 2014. All these witnessed increased spending by customers, while spending on building materials declined by 12% in 2014.
The increase in electronic payments reflects the transition within the MENA region from being a cash-based financial system to a card-based system.
This growth trend in electronic payments is set to continue, as more and more local businesses begin to adopt electronic payments.
An infographic based on the Visa report produced by NeoMam Studios is given below.