Dubai and Visa Sign MoU to Promote e-Commerce While Keeping Shoppers Safe

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai and its long-standing partner, Visa, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help grow the UAE’s consumer e-commerce sector by encouraging more merchants to take their businesses online, and educating consumers on the benefits of digital payments and shopping and paying online.

The MoU follows continuous efforts by DED and Visa to promote retailing and safe online shopping habits.

This partnership follows DED’s trend of creating public-private partnerships in achieving their consumer protection goals, and in this particular case, enable consumers and businesses in Dubai to increase online shopping activities while still protecting their interests. To this end, of the avenues that interests DED is fintech solution providers.

The collaboration between DED and Visa will also work to create an annual index to monitor e-commerce growth in the UAE and, in particular, Dubai.  The organisations will enhance the online customer experience for UAE shoppers, and increase transparency of the eCommerce sector via knowledge and data sharing between the organisations.

E-commerce still only amounts to 2% of the retail spending in the UAE, but both parties see an opportunity for more growth.  The rise in e-commerce is seen by both organisations as providing a platform for local entrepreneurial talent to spur innovation as well as for global players to participate in the UAE economy, with the recent acquisition of local companies by foreign companies such as Souq (acquired by Amazon) as positive examples of how this could propel more start-ups and venture capitalists to invest in the local eCommerce market.

Commented Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED:

Sami Al Qamzi

Sami Al Qamzi

“We are delighted to collaborate with Visa on driving digital payments in the UAE and accelerating the UAE’s move to a cashless society in line with the directives of our leadership and the UAE Centennial Plan. Our goal is to position Dubai as the foremost in digital retailing as well as the happiest in the world.”

Marcello Baricordi

Marcello Baricordi

 Marcello Baricordi, General Manager for MENA, Visa said:

“We view eCommerce as a key strategic area where Visa can bring value to support UAE’s drive to support SMEs, build consumer trust and deliver better customer experiences, and drive eGovernment initiatives.

“Cardholder security is at the heart of Visa’s business and, along with providing a safe and secure online shopping environment, we, along with the DED, are committed to improving the payments sphere and increasing accessibility while continuing to maintain UAE fraud rates at their current historic lows.”