American tech giant Google launched Google Pay in the UAE on Thursday, allowing contactless payments that users can can complete securely within seconds using their Android phones - whether online or offline.
On the back of growing smartphone and internet penetration in the region, the mobile wallet market is predicted to hit $2.3 billion by 2022 in the UAE, according to the latest report by TechSci Research, a US-based consulting firm providing market research and advisory solutions. The study added that the UAE mobile wallet market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24 per cent during 2017-22.
As of March this year, internet penetration in the region was 64.5 per cent, higher than the global average of 54.5 per cent, according to data by Statista.
Users need to register the details of their Mastercard or Visa cards issued by any of the partner banks - Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, Mashreq and Standard Chartered - with Google Pay app before using it. Then they just need to turn their phone on and press it to the contactless terminal to make a payment electronically via Near Field Communication.
However, Google Pay faces a stiff competition in the UAE - already home to various global players such as Samsung Pay, Etisalat Wallet, Beam Wallet, PayPal and Apple Pay. Even some banks have introduced mobile wallets such as Mashreq Neo and RAKBank Mobile Banking app.