Debit Cards Advantages And Disadvantages For Payments In The Middle East

Posted on: January 16, 2020


debit cards for online shopping











If you are travelling in the Middle East, chances are you’re wondering if they accept Canadian debit cards in this region. Below is an article with all the information you’ll need.

There might be local differences but in general debit cards are a much better option than credit cards when traveling to the Middle East. They offer more protection and convenience as well as the ability to withdraw cash from an ATM.

Some countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, do not accept credit cards as a form of payment. This is due to strict Islamic laws that forbid interest-bearing loans and therefore prohibit the use of credit cards. The use of debit cards has been accepted in these countries since they don’t have any interest rates associated with them.

Debit cards have been around for a while, but they have been mostly used in the the Western world. Nowadays, more and more people are traveling to other countries where debit cards have been accepted as an alternative form of payment. Today, debit cards are a very popular payment method in the Middle East. As it turns out, around 77% of people in the United Arab Emirates, for example, prefer to stick with a debit card over credit card alternatives. The reason is an understanding in the cultures of most countries in the region that debt is shameful and if pressed, people in the Middle East would avoid debt at all costs.  That is why debit cards have achieved very high penetration in the Arabic world and with a good reason. They are just as useful as credit cards and, in fact, many consumers who have tried both admit that debit cards do have a slight edge. Of course, there are different factors to consider in the choice of using credit or debit cards.

What Are Debit Cards Used for in the Middle East?

Debit cards are used for virtually everything in the Middle East. This includes visiting and using e-commerce platforms, such as Aliexpress and Shein to making small purchases at your local chain store or shop. The penetration debit cards have achieved in the region is impressive and people today will turn to their cards whenever they have to:

  • Cover treatment plans
  • Pay for entertainment
  • Cover utility bills

Debit cards are flexible and trusted payment options, and with the introduction of mobile apps, the use and management of your money have become even simpler, allowing you to make the most of your debit cards.  Although you can also use credit cards, debit cards are better for your finances because they allow you to spend your money more wisely. Worth noting is that debit cards are not particularly anonymous, so they are not always an ideal payment type for online casinos or betting websites. Debit and credit card transactions to and from those sites may also be blocked. Despite the availability of gambling online through foreign websites, the government maintains that it is illegal .Though a VPN can help you get around some blocks and bans, it can actually cause more problems than it solves and there are better banking methods for gambling in the Middle East than credit cards. With this said, for players in other countries, debit and credit cards continue to be one of the most popular payment methods.

Is Keeping a Debit Card Better?

Now, there are some things that you need to know about banking cards one way or another. For example, credit and debit cards may come with annual fees. However, the truth is that most debit cards don’t actually have fees.  Credit cards most often do. Another thing to notice about credit cards is that they give you other incentives, such as flying miles, which can be used by airlines if you are a frequent flier, for example.  If you are more settled in your traveling, though, you might find such extras unnecessary. The downside of the travel miles is that you have to keep track of them. Often, you may even be inclined to change your flying schedule to accommodate your credit card.

That isn’t ideal to some people and they would so much rather just take a debit card instead. Cash withdrawals are always a little safer to some people when you have a debit card because the money you withdraw from an ATM is the money you have.  Credit cards will let you withdraw on a credit, which is essentially debt, and some people genuinely don’t like carrying on the extra burden. Of course, it’s all up to the end-user to pick from a debit or a credit card.

How Do People End Up With Debit Cards in the End?

As we have established, there are clear differences between credit and debit cards. You will find both to be quite flexible and serve their unique purpose. So, to summarize, debit cards will give you some advantages if you value those, such as:

  • Avoid most fees when owning and using the card
  • A good level of security and tight money control
  • No interest accumulating over time to payback
  • Lower overall fees when they apply to your tax payments
  • Faster payments and easier to budget

These reasons are naturally arbitrary. Banks such as Barclays will give you many reasons to opt into a credit card and it does make sense when you come to think about it. Credit cards can be good because they allow you to build your credit score and aren’t generally linked to your savings or checking account.  People do appreciate that level of comfort. As to the Middle East, a more frugal culture still prevails and that is definitely not a bad thing. Debit cards are powerful solutions in the region, and they are often a preferred choice for the majority of the population.

Category(s): Money Coaching

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