Network International, the leading payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa region, today launched the Network Index of Consumer Spend (NICS), the first-of-its-kind cards spending index that tracks changes in consumer card spending in the UAE on a quarterly basis. The index was launched with the aim to offer a wide range of consumer sectors in the UAE with valuable knowledge of consumer behavior, enabling them to make data-driven strategic business decisions.
A public-domain index, NICS tracks, measures and analyses consumer card spending across multiple sub-sectors and industries to derive a single index number that illustrates how spending has changed over a particular period. Spend data from 2014 was used as the base year, with a value of 100, and all subsequent years’ index values are expressed relative to the base year’s value, using a statistically valid formula. Sectoral sub-indices track consumer transactions across specific industry groupings including Travel & Hospitality; Health Care; Consumer Goods; and Food & Entertainment.*
Today’s inaugural edition of the NICS revealed the results of the Q1 2018 Index which showed that consumer card spending in the UAE increased by 8.33%, primarily attributable to an increase in the Food & Entertainment and Travel & Hospitality categories. The Index was at 142.47 as compared to 131.51 in Q1 2017.
Simon Haslam, Group CEO of Network International, said: “ With the launch of NICS, we aim to go one step further from being a payments solutions provider to being a payments solutions thought leader. As the largest acquirer in the UAE, Network International is strongly positioned to offer exclusive insights into consumer behavior in the country that can help drive business decisions and strategic campaigns and offer comprehensive insights to a diverse range of industries.”
Samer Soliman, Managing Director, Middle East at Network International,said: “The NICS is the first time that relevant and credible spending data from millions of transactions across multiple channels has been used to present an objective view of how much residents and tourists in the UAE are spending and what they are spending on. We believe that this will solidify Network International’s proposition as an end-to-end consultant in the payments and financial services sector, and we anticipate that the index will be favourably received by banks, merchants and payments institutions alike.”
The inaugural edition of NICS was also launched with a special report on card spends for the full year of 2017. For 2017, overall spending in the UAE increased with the index rising more than 17 points over the previous year to 134.92. This was driven mainly by higher spending in the Food & Entertainment category, with an index value of 158.32. Health Care was close behind at 142.98, followed by Consumer Goods which registered at 133.11.
The NICS was launched today at a press conference in Dubai by Simon Haslam, Group CEO of Network International, and Samer Soliman, Managing Director, Middle East at Network International.