COVID-19 accelerates Southeast Asia’s transition towards a cashless society - Study

03/06/2022 02:28 PM

By Linda Khoo Hui Li

BANGKOK, June 3 (Bernama) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated Southeast Asia’s transition towards a cashless society, while eCommerce continues to grow as consumers explore new shopping channels during the pandemic, according to the latest Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study.

The report also stated 93 per cent of consumers use a multitude of cashless payment methods including cards, contactless cards and mobile contactless, mobile wallets and QR code payments in the region.

“This is led by consumers in Singapore (97 per cent), Malaysia (96 per cent), Indonesia (95 per cent), and Vietnam (95 per cent). However, an increasing number of consumers are opting for cashless payments in markets where cash remains dominant, such as Cambodia, the Philippines, and Vietnam,” it said.

The report said nearly four in five Southeast Asian consumers plan to use cashless payment methods more often, particularly those in Thailand (89 per cent) and Vietnam (83 per cent), as well as 78 per cent each in  Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

“This could be due to three in four (75 per cent) consumers perceiving cashless methods as a safer way to pay, especially in Thailand (86 per cent), Vietnam (80 per cent), and the Philippines (79 per cent).

“As such, nearly three in four Southeast Asian consumers (72 per cent) support their governments’ plans to develop their nations into cashless societies, and more than two in three (68 per cent) prefer shopping at stores that accept cashless payments,” it said.

The study said almost two in three (62 per cent) Southeast Asian consumers shopped more frequently through apps or websites. However, with the emergence of new retail options and experiences, consumers are also exploring a variety of outlets for shopping.

“Almost half of Southeast Asian consumers (45 per cent) shopped more frequently via proximity stores (direct delivery at home after ordering by phone) and almost two in five (39 per cent) shopped more frequently via social media.

“Online shopping is becoming a growing habit, with three in five consumers shopping less frequently at physical outlets compared to two in five (44 per cent) in 2020,” the study said.

Visa’s Group Country Manager for Southeast Asia Serene Gay said in Southeast Asia, payments and commerce are being defined by convenient and intuitive experiences that blend across all aspects of life.

She said the preference for cashless payments continues to grow, and nearly four in five (77 per cent) Southeast Asian consumers plan to use cashless payments more often.

“This is driven by the widespread use of mobile wallets (52 per cent) and contactless card payments (44 per cent), as well as rising interest in the use of new methods such as Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions (63 per cent).

“With more ways to pay, and more places for commerce to happen, the digital economy in Southeast Asia is projected to hit US$1 trillion by 2030,” she said.

The annual Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study was conducted to understand the behaviours of consumers and identify areas for greater adoption of digital payments.

The latest survey was commissioned by Visa from August to September 2021 among 6,520 consumers aged 18 to 65 years in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.



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