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Jordan Cards & Payments Market Report

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  • Published Date: August 2017


A comprehensive overview of cards, payments and retail banking in Jordan. A small country, the majority of Jordan's population is concentrated in urban centres like Amman (the capital city), Irbid and Zarqa. Jordan is still a cash-dominant society, with over 90 percent of the transactions being made in cash.
Premium card customers in Jordan are increasingly significant since growth in the credit cards market was predominantly because of them. Non-premium cardholders, especially those in the lower- to middle-income category, continued to curtail their credit card spending.
Visa is the clear market leader in the credit cards market in terms of both card numbers and billed volume. However, since 2011, Mastercard has become more aggressive and started increasing market share. Visa is the country's largest debit card network, representing a market share of 88 percent in terms of debit card billed volume in 2016.
The merchant acquiring market in Jordan is dominated by two main players: Emerging Market Payments (EMP) and Middle East Payment Services (MEPS).


  • Jordan has taken in around 1.4 million Syrian refugees since 2011, putting pressure on public finances. Despite this, consistent economic growth of two to three per cent has prevailed.
  • The retail banking market is competitive with 25 banks operating in the country and the largest five accounting for half of assets.
  • Three-quarters of the population do not have a bank account. The government is promoting the development of mobile financial services to address this issue.
  • The central bank operates JoMoPay, a central switch that enables cross-network transfers between mobile providers and interoperability with the country's broader payments infrastructure.
  • Jordan's consumer credit market should be boosted by the launch in 2016 of the country's first credit bureau.
  • Cash is the dominant payment method in Jordan, accounting for well over 90 per cent of payments. Low levels of financial inclusion are a major contributing factor to this trend.
  • Card use is concentrated among the affluent and in urban areas. Credit cards account for the majority of card purchases though there are four times as many debit cards in circulation.
  • In common with other Middle Eastern markets, Jordanian issuers have focused their credit cards business on premium customers in recent years.
  • Arab Bank is the leading card issuer with a market share of almost a third of issued credit and debit cards and over half of credit card outstandings.
  • The merchant acquiring market is dominated by two non-bank entities – Emerging Market Payments (EMP) and Middle East Payment Services (MEPS).

Jordan Payments Research | Report Contents

Demographics and Economy:
Outlines the key metrics and trends which influence the development of retail banking and payments in the country:

  • Population structure
  • Income
  • Mobile and internet use
  • Economic data

Retail Banking:
Explores the structure of the local banking system, its infrastructure and the leading players. Data includes:

  • Aggregate retail banking indicators
  • Bank branch, ATMs and POS terminals
  • The profitability of top banks

Consumer Finance:
Overview of consumer finance in the country. Categories analysed include:

  • Mortgage loans
  • Personal loans
  • Credit card loans
  • Vehicle loans

Credit Cards:
Industry-leading credit card coverage. We detail the past present and future of the industry through our data and commentary, including:

  • Market size split by consumer and commercial credit cards: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Profit pool analysis
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Debit Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Prepaid Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume

Jordan Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
Jordan is not rich in natural resources; potash and phosphate are its main export commodities. An almost landlocked, semi-arid country, agricultural land is limited and water is severely scarce – the country ranks as the world's fourth-poorest country in terms of water resources.

The Economy
The textile and garment sector is important to the Jordanian economy, as it accounts for one-third of the country's export earnings and employs 60,000. Jordan is gradually becoming a garments manufacturing hub for international brands including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

Retail Banking
There were an estimated 25 banks operating in Jordan at the end of 2016. Five banks dominate Jordan's retail banking market: Arab Bank, The Housing Bank for Trade and Finance (HBTF), Jordan Islamic Bank (a subsidiary of Dallah Al Barka Group), Jordan Kuwait Bank and Bank AlEtihad.

Consumer Finance
Jordan's consumer credit market continued to grow steadily in 2016 with outstandings reaching an estimated $15.3 billion, up by 11.4% from the previous year. Growth in total consumer debt was largely due to the expansion in mortgage credit.

Cards Market
Jordan is still a cash-dominant society, with more than 90 percent of the transactions being made in cash. Due to the prevalence of cash-based transactions in the country, around two to three percent of GDP is spent on protection and maintenance of cash.

Mobile money services are at a nascent stage in Jordan with few players offering the service. Orange and Zain are two major mobile telecom operators that offer mobile financial services in the country.

Profit pool
The profitability per card for foreign banks is higher than that of local banks. This is primarily due to the higher credit card outstandings per card of their portfolios, higher rollover rates and a greater proportion of fee income in total credit card revenues. Lower cost to income ratio is another major factor behind higher profitability per card.

Pricing and Enhancements
Issuers have taken steps to grow credit card acceptance and encourage customers to use their cards for day-to-day purchases. Nevertheless, the credit cards market remains in an early stage of development in terms of product differentiation, variety of products and richness of features. Market competition is primarily based on pricing.

Card Networks
Visa is the clear market leader in the credit cards market in terms of both card numbers and billed volume. However, Mastercard has become more aggressive and started increasing market share. Visa's dominance of the debit cards market is attributed to its strong relationships with key issuers and its brand recognition in the country.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
At the end of 2016, there were an estimated 25 retail banks operating in Jordan for a population of seven million. However, around 40% of total banking assets and around 35% of the branch network is held by the top three banks.

Merchant Acquiring and Processing
The merchant acquiring market in Jordan is dominated by two main players: Emerging Market Payments (EMP) and Middle East Payment Services (MEPS). Banks have made huge investments in IT and have deployed card personalisation infrastructures in-house. As a result, most credit card issuers have kept the issuing processing in-house.

Online Acquiring
Despite growth in internet and smartphone penetration, e-commerce in Jordan is still in its nascent stage. Major impediments to the growth of e-commerce include low levels of consumer confidence about making online purchases, poor consumer demand and the lack of a dedicated regulatory body governing e-commerce transactions.

Regulatory and Markets Information
The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) acts as a regulator for the country's commercial banks, specialised banks, money exchange houses and finance and leasing companies. It also acts as an advisor to the Jordanian government on economic matters in general and particularly on monetary and financial issues.


Reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit throughout the Middle East. Analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and Middle East experts.

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