Research + Insights

Visa and Saudi Payments Study: Contactless adoption in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia achieves highest adoption of contactless payments in MENA at 94% of all in-store payments; study identifies key drivers of rapid growth


Saudi Arabia’s successful adoption of contactless payments serves as a model for other markets. From just 4% of face-to-face transactions in 2017, by December 2020 contactless transactions accounted for 94% of all face-to-face transactions in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia’s contactless penetration was above the European average (80%), and higher than Canada (76%) and Hong Kong (79%). In the MENA region, the Kingdom was first in contactless payments adoption, followed by Kuwait (81%) and United Arab Emirates (81%). 

The whitepaper, 'Contactless adoption in Saudi Arabia 2020' published by Visa and Saudi Payments, a fully-owned subsidiary of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), through the national payment scheme “mada”, itracks the evolution of contactless payments in the Kingdom from 2017 to 2020, analyzing the factors that have propelled the rapid growth in cardholders usage and its acceptance among merchants.

To learn more about how Saudi Payments and Visa - under the supervision of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) - helped drive the adoption of contactless payments in the Kingdom, check out this video.  More insights can be found in the press release, infographics and whitepaper available below. 



(Arabic video)


Tag: Payment trends Tag: Visa Research Tag: Digital commerce