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ATMs ‘preferred while on travel’

Cairo, July 3, 2011

Travelers from Egypt and the rest of the Middle East preferred to access local currency through facilities like ATMs at their holiday destinations rather than carrying large amounts of cash, said a report.

The Visa International Cash Access Study 2010, which covered eight markets including South Africa, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Kuwait, found that travelers from Kuwait withdrew the most amount of cash at their destination ($1,853) during their last overseas trip, followed by travelers from Saudi Arabia ($1,791), UAE ($1,462) and Egypt ($1,018).

Travelers from the Middle East, including Egypt withdrew an average of $1,623 on arrival during their last overseas trip, which is 50 per cent more than the overall average ($1,080) from all respondents polled from the eight markets.

When travelers were asked about the main reasons for accessing cash on arrival, convenience (72 per cent) was the main consideration, followed by safety (56 per cent) and the availability of ATMs and cash access touch-points at destination (52 per cent).

The survey found that Egyptians spent approximately $3000 on their last trip outside the country, with females and those aged 18-24 spending more on average.

Cash emerged as the main payment method during Egyptians’ last trips, except when it came to making purchases at duty free shops, where they preferred to use credit cards. However, Egyptian business travelers tended to use their credit cards for big ticket items like airfare and accommodation instead of cash.

“More travelers are realizing the benefits of accessing cash through overseas ATMs while on holiday. Travelers can avoid the risk of carrying large amounts of cash and can easily access their travel funds from Visa’s extensive network of 1.8 million ATMs in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide,” said Tarek Elhousseiny, general manager of Visa North and West Africa.

“Most of these operate 24-hours a day and can be easily found at major airports, tourist and commercial areas. It is interesting to see how home built habits and patterns do travel with the consumers irrespective of the geography or infrastructure. Perception change is a key dimension to influence habit change,’ he added.

As reported by respondents, one in five (18 percent) travelers from the Middle East prefers to access cash at ATMs at their destination cities when they run out of funds while overseas.

The most popular payment cards used by travelers from the Middle East for overseas cash access at ATMs are ATM/bank card (64 per cent), debit/salary card (20 per cent) and credit card (13 per cent).

According to respondents from the Middle East, Visa is the most popular payment brand among two in three people (67 per cent) for withdrawing local currency while overseas. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Egypt | Cairo | Visa | Survey | ATMs | Cash on travel |

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