According to Tribal, a global company that provides integrated financial solutions for startups across the Middle East, its customers in the MENA use an average of 25.4 virtual cards. This research comes at a time where virtual credit cards are becoming an emerging trend in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with growing consumer demand for more secure payment options.
Tribal also revealed instances where businesses have used more than 400 virtual cards.
MENA companies lead Tribal’s global customer base in the use of virtual cards compared to the global average of 12.5 virtual cards and an average of 9.4 virtual cards in the LatAm region.
The use of virtual cards in MENA is higher than global averages due to the strong penetration of fintech and digital payments technologies in the region. New fintech products such as virtual credit cards are in full swing in the Middle East due to the growth of digital payments in the region, which, according to the Middle East Institute, is experiencing 30 per cent annual growth.
Virtual cards, like physical cards, include the user’s name, number, expiration date and security code and has become a resource that allows users and companies to manage and monitor payments and maximize flexibility.
Amira Fadel, Tribal’s general manager for MENA, said: “Start-ups can have problems acquiring credit cards through traditional banks; they may not meet requirements, or the approval process may take a long time.
“These businesses require customized financial products, that we provide through our virtual card, which has evolved into a highly effective and efficient spending control tool due to the unlimited number of cards that can be produced, whether for one-time or recurring expenses.”
The single-use virtual card was designed so that companies can pay for an individual expense – for example, the purchase of a collaborator’s flight – and that, after being used, can be closed reinforcing security and control. Likewise, there is the periodic use card, a product for which it is possible to assign personalized funds each month tailored to the company’s recurring expenses, such as payments for digital advertising.
Whether they are for single or recurring use, virtual cards have established themselves as secure and efficient solutions for digital transactions because they offer data encryption and cannot be misplaced or lost due to their digital nature, which makes it difficult for companies that are victims of crimes such as cloning and identity theft.
“With Tribal’s virtual card businesses, businesses can decentralise purchasing operations, making payment processes more efficient in different areas of the business such as finance and purchases, and empowering employees to manage operating expenses in their respective areas, effective traditional bureaucracy and allow businesses to focus on growth and development,” Fadel concluded.