Visa launches ‘Stay Secure’ campaign in Pakistan

Visa launches ‘Stay Secure’ campaign in Pakistan to help protect cardholders

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Visa (NYSE: V), the world’s leader in digital payments, today launched ‘Stay Secure’, a consumer education campaign that aims to promote safe digital payment (card and mobile) practices among Pakistani consumers. Running for the first time in Pakistan, Visa’s security campaign addresses consumer concerns and provides advice to help consumers protect themselves against payment-related frauds. Having successfully promoted the security campaign in other countries over the years, Visa is leveraging its expertise to raise awareness and confidence around card payments amongst consumers in Pakistan.

For the purpose of the ‘Stay Secure’ campaign, Visa surveyed consumers across Pakistan to study their experiences, attitudes and behaviors when shopping in-store and online. Among surveyed respondents, 56% of consumers find cards to be more secure than cash overall. The factors driving the security perception of cards include (i) risk of theft when carrying cash (48%); (ii) swift resolution of security issues (45%); and (iii) cards are always replaceable in case of loss (44%). The survey also examines consumers’ security perceptions of online transactions with 76% of respondents (both online and non-online shoppers) saying they trust online payments with cards. Among current online shoppers, the trust level for making online payments through card is high (94%), while among current non-online shoppers, the trust level for card is comparatively lower (54%).

The survey findings revealed that consumers prefer card payments over cash when shopping online because (i) they feel that card is safer than cash (53%); (ii) they perceive cards to be safe and secure way to pay (50%); and (iii) they see digital payments as the only mode of payment accepted by online merchants (45%). The most common type of cards used by online shoppers is debit cards (64%), followed by credit cards (55%), and prepaid cards (6%). In terms of online payments, cards are the preferred payment method for 50% of respondents, while 42% prefer to pay cash on delivery (COD) when shopping online. COD drivers include: (i) easier to keep track of spends (76%), (ii) do not see any benefits, rewards, or discounts when using cards (68%), and (iii) additional fees and charges associated with using card (64%). 85% are likely to be more open to making online payments using their card if they had the guarantee that their data is secure and 88% if they had they guarantee of a quick refund in case they wanted to return an item or had not received it.

Kamil Khan, Country Manager for Visa in Pakistan, said “The ‘Stay Secure’ survey gives us insight into consumer behavior, views and appetite regarding digital payments and eCommerce. This makes it possible for Visa to understand consumer concerns and address them appropriately. With Pakistan’s growing internet penetration and rapidly increasing number of mobile users, the country is on track to produce one of the largest digital audiences in the world. In this context, it is more important than ever to raise awareness among consumers about adopting safe online practices.”

QR code payments, a contactless payment method performed by scanning a QR code from a mobile app, is an alternative to transferring electronic funds at point of sale using a payment terminal. Visa’s QR payment solution, Visa on mobile, enables consumers to access their funds directly from their bank accounts via their mobile banking app to pay merchants and send money to individuals. Visa has recently launched Visa on mobile in Pakistan in collaboration with HBL and is working with its partners to bring the solution to more consumers in the country.

The survey findings reveal that 32% of respondents are aware of QR payments and 18% have used it – of respondents who have used it, 80% trust the technology. Among online shoppers, 27% have used the QR solution and likeability increases to 88%, whereas, among current users of QR payments, likeability increases to 94%. Furthermore, 87% of respondents first introduced to QR payments consider it secure, while 79% intend to use the payment method in the near future. The main drivers for the usage of QR payments are (i) security perceptions (58%), (ii) speed of payments (50%), and (iii) convenience (48%). The main barriers to future usage are (i) lack of trust (59%), (ii) forced to link payment to card and they do not feel card payments are safe (56%), and (iii) not available on their current mobile device (56%).

The survey reveals that factors such as more education on the usage of QR payments and reassurance from bank on its security aspects is required to elevate consumers’ interest in adopting QR payments. It also reveals that majority of online shoppers (52%) prefer to shop from well-known eCommerce sites, while 55% prefer to shop from domestic sites over international eCommerce sites driven by factors such as convenience, faster delivery time, efficient after sale service and refund/return policies.

Pakistani consumers mostly purchase clothes, restaurant orders, groceries, and electronic goods when shopping online. The main drivers for shopping online are that (i) consumers feel it is more convenient (48%), (ii) have the option to compare prices (43%), and (iii) feel it is becoming safer and more reliable (42%). The main barriers are (i) concerned with difference in product online versus delivery (39%), (ii) they cannot inspect the item before purchasing (38%), and (iii) concerned that the product might not arrive on time or at all (37%). To convert non-online shoppers, merchants should continue to tackle a few areas of concerns including easier return and refund policies, more realistic product descriptions, easier payment/checkout process, POS terminal on delivery, discounts and offers.

Some of Visa’s key recommendations for consumers to engage in safe online shopping practices include: (i) shop at well-known eCommerce sites, (ii) avoid using public WiFi connection for transactions, (iii) look for the ‘s’ after ‘http’ in website addresses to confirm that a site offers (SSL) protection, (iv) activate Verified by Visa with your bank to secure online payments; log out whenever you leave a website, especially if using a public computer; and (v) never share your personal account information on social media, over email, phone or chat.

“At a time when businesses and consumers are becoming more digital and the impact of new technologies is felt by everyone everywhere, security must remain at the forefront. Pakistan has the potential to become one of the largest eCommerce markets in the world given the sector’s substantial growth in recent years.  And for eCommerce to expand further consumers need to feel secure about using online platforms. One of the ways we are harnessing this growth potential is by continuing with our mission of educating consumers on digital payments and making them aware of the multi-layered security that is in place to protect their card data. This is also pertinent at a time when Pakistan is seeking to digitize its economy,” concluded Kamil Khan.