Is the future of payments all digital?

Maeve Harris's avatar
Maeve Harris

Digital payments, plastic cards and financial behaviour – all this and more from QNB’s attendee survey wall at Web Summit Qatar 2024. 

Emerging technologies have dramatically changed consumer habits and preferences across myriad industries. 

One of the starkest examples of this has been within the financial sector. On June 27, 1967, the world’s first ATM was installed in the UK, and the first contactless payment was made in South Korea in 1995. In 2013, Google Glass incorporated certain banking functionalities, introducing new gestures to the ever-changing financial world.

QNB, the national bank of Qatar, surveyed Web Summit Qatar attendees in Doha to find out just how open people are to technological changes in banking.

Check out some of the findings:

Digital payments trump physical cards

With the declining use of physical payment cards and the widespread adoption of mobile transactions in mind, QNB wondered how reliant we are on tangible tools like cards.

Of the total number of surveyees, almost half stated that they carry physical cards for emergency purposes only – presumably for instances in which a card machine is down or a technological malfunction occurs. 

The findings are consistent with the declining use of cash in recent years, resulting from the ease of digital payments and the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused a shift towards mobile transactions as businesses increased their e-commerce offerings

Cash is no longer king, but mobile wallets are 

The Covid-19 pandemic provoked many consumers to move away from physical transactions and toward digital wallets, a trend that is only expected to intensify in the coming years.

According to Yahoo Finance, the global mobile wallet market is expected to grow from US$10.88 billion in 2023 to US$35.63 billion by 2028.

In line with this trend, our attendees also responded that mobile wallets are the way forward, with almost two-thirds of Web Summit Qatar respondents believing that mobile wallets are the future of digital payments.

Did you miss out on this year’s event? Get your ticket today to secure your spot at Web Summit Qatar 2025.

Main image of contactless payment: Prins Production/Web Summit


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