About 89% of respondents in a Kaspersky study on digital payments in Egypt reported an increase in their use of digital wallets and services in 2021.

The Coronavirus pandemic was one of the most important factors that contributed to this transformation, as 67% of the study participants said that they had started using digital payment services during the pandemic.

Online payment services helped 62% of users maintain physical distance, while 90% expressed reliance on digital banking services and digital wallets even after the pandemic ended.

The ease of use of digital payments encouraged users in Egypt to rely on banking technologies.

89% of the respondents in the study expressed their appreciation for the ability to pay at any time and from anywhere, while 54% said that digital banking services and mobile digital wallets facilitated the management of their financial information.

The proliferation of digital payment services is attracting cybercriminals looking for opportunities to exploit for financial gain.

According to Kaspersky experts, financial attacks in Egypt increased by 18% in 2021 compared to the previous year.

Egypt also witnessed a 30% increase in ClipBanker malware attacks, which is the most used financial malware in Egypt, in 2021 compared to 2020.

In this context, experts expect that the growth in the volume and number of digital services will lead to the emergence of new security vulnerabilities that allow for cyber attacks.

When users were asked about their reservations about using online payment and banking apps, 52% said they feared storing their financial information online, while 30% were concerned that their devices were not sufficiently secured.

21% said they do not trust the security of these platforms, while 28% said they had no reservations about it.

On this occasion, Imad Al-Haffar, Chief Technical Expert at Kaspersky, said that digital payment services are becoming popular with many new users, despite concerns and reservations, noting that the pandemic has provided an opportunity for users to understand and accept these services.

He added: “The growth and development of the cashless economy requires an informed understanding of the digital risks related to electronic transactions.”

As users are comfortable with digital payment applications, application developers and service providers should check for any vulnerabilities throughout the payment process, and ensure that security features are developed that win the trust of new users and keep existing users protected at all times.”

Jihad Khalil, General Manager for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the Levant at MasterCard, said: “At a time when the world is becoming increasingly connected around us, the frequency of cyber attacks is increasing, threatening individuals and companies with financial risks and affecting their reputations.”

“Therefore, industry leaders must be the first line of defence to ensure the security and integrity of the financial system. At MasterCard, we strive to be proactive in the face of fraud and to develop our protection for the cyber system to ensure the security of banks, merchants and consumers, as part of our efforts to ensure a safer world for all.”

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Mohamed Alaa El-Din