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Phones becoming a hot item among e-shoppers

When it comes to browsing and shopping on the Internet, mobile phones are increasingly becoming an ubiquitous item among consumers in the Middle East.

In MasterCard’s latest study, 90 per cent of the 3,000 respondents from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Lebanon said they access the internet from their mobile phones.

Consumers in the region are using their mobile devices to pay for airline tickets, gadget apps, clothing and fashion accessories, music downloads, and toys and gifts, among others.

Nearly four out of 10 (37 per cent) respondents said they find it convenient to shop through their mobile phone, while 32 per cent said “there are more and more apps that make it easy to shop online.” About a third (31 per cent) said they like shopping through their mobile because they can do it on the go.

“Mobile shopping is the most interesting. The mobile phone penetration rates are just going through the roof, as well as the investments into the networks for data speed, access coverage,” said Aaron Oliver, head of emerging payments for Middle East and Africa at MasterCard,

“There are a number of things that are starting to come together to make it so that any device becomes a commerce device,” he added.

The survey found that 16.7 per cent of the consumers purchased from their mobile device in the last three months, but the actual number is believed to be higher. About 17 per cent of the respondents plan to purchase in the next six months.