Ding launched the second Ding Global Prepaid Index (GPI) in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. According to the Ding GPI, consumers in the GCC are among the world’s most avid users of social media, but concerns over data use and misuse of platforms remain high. And hence the illegal data collection and financial data theft remain the major worries.
This bi-annual global study, commissioned by Ding, examines the perspectives of 6,250 respondents from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Indonesia, Germany, India, Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines on their prepaid market participation and economic attitudes. According to the study, the GCC is one of the largest users of prepaid products, with 89 percent (KSA) and 86 percent (UAE) of those surveyed admitting to do so.
“The GPI findings across the board are very insightful as they show that even if the UAE and KSA share many market similarities, the experience consumers have online directly impacts their trust,” said Mark Roden, Founder & Chief Executive of Ding.
He added, “While the UAE and Saudi have some of the Index’s best results for online safety, the issue has become a global concern and with the recent issues we have seen across social media and spyware revelations, these fluctuations in trust are very much in line with a global trend.”
Trust in Data Collection and Social Media Platforms
Data gathering was cited as a key issue by over half (46%) of respondents in the UAE, followed by financial data theft by 45 percent. The results were comparable in KSA, with 39 percent and 47 percent, indicating that data protection concerns are a big concern for these Middle Eastern consumers, despite the fact that both markets have high levels of social media and phone use.
In comparison, the Philippines had the most fear of illicit data acquisition (63 percent), while Germany had the least (32 percent) (32 percent ). Nigeria, on the other hand, had the most fear of financial data theft (60 percent), while India had the least (38 percent ).
The UAE respondents had the lowest level of trust in social media, ranking eighth in the poll, while Indonesia ranked top, with 88 percent trust in platforms compared to 75 percent in the UAE and 78 percent in Saudi Arabia. When compared to other markets, the UAE has the lowest level of trust in social media, however only 25% of people don’t trust the social media they use.
Negative experiences on social media platforms
Misuse or online abuse can be found on a variety of sites, while consumer concerns differ from country to country. Respondents in the UAE saw or experience more misuse on TikTok (25%) than in most other countries, and on LinkedIn, the rate is double the global norm (12 percent ).
Saudi Arabia had the highest rate of Twitter (26%) and Snapchat (20%) usage than any other market. However, respondents said that there is less misuse on Facebook (30%) than in most other markets — a figure that is 12 percent lower than the average.
The usage of Facebook-owned apps such as WhatsApp (63 percent) and Instagram (54 percent) in Saudi Arabia is higher than in the UAE, where the statistics were just 58 percent and 47 percent, respectively. In reality, when compared to other markets, the UAE has one of the lowest rates of Instagram (47%) and Facebook/Messenger (43%) users.
The UAE is 15 percent higher than the all-markets average in terms of current economic confidence. When comparing the confidence levels from GPI 2 to the first Global Prepaid Index, which was introduced in early 2021, it’s interesting to note that confidence levels are down 3% on average. Saudi confidence is 10% higher than the overall market average.
When it comes to the economy in the next six months, the UAE is the most optimistic (72 percent) of all the countries polled. This could be owing to the excitement around the start of the Dubai Expo 2020. Saudi Arabia placed in third place with a 65 percent response rate.