Visa Reports Strong Cashless Payments Adoption in Southeast Asia along with Rise in Online Shopping Post COVID

Visa (NYSE:V) notes in a comprehensive report that the past year and a half has been quite challenging for many individuals and businesses, with the global COVID-19 pandemic “vastly changing the way we live, work and shop.”

Visa has released a detailed report in which it points out that Southeast Asia has seen nationwide lockdowns, movement controls, and safe-distancing measures which have led to new consumer behaviors and preferences, “accelerating the shift towards digital-first experiences — particularly for payments and commerce.”

Visa writes in its report that we have all witnessed a “remarkable transition” to digital or online shopping and purchasing habits in Southeast Asia. These key trends are revealed in the findings of the seventh edition of their annual Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study.

The report offers important consumer insights that are based on the latest developments in payments, changing moments of e-commerce, and “smarter consumer” journeys that are being powered by technology and innovation.

As stated in the report:

“Overall, in Southeast Asia, the pandemic has given rise to new habits that power consumers’ increasingly digital lifestyles. Cashless payments continue to gain traction across the region, with 85 per cent of consumers embracing a multitude of digital payment methods.”

The report reveals that consumers in Southeast Asia “appreciate simpler means of earning rewards.” For instance, they like to accumulate points (47%) or by using various payment methods
(46%).

As revealed in the report:

“[Consumers] are less motivated by rewards that are earned via lucky invoices/bills/queue numbers while playing a game (37%), earned via purchases within certain hours or on a certain day (37%) or earned via completing self-set targets of purchasing certain brands or products (36%).”

(Note: You can access the complete report here.)

As covered earlier this month, real-time payments are becoming increasingly common as cash as a payment solution or method for consumers in Southeast Asia, according to research from ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW) and YouGov.

Three out of five or around 60% of consumers residing in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore say they prefer real-time payments as a way to pay for items in 2021, almost level with cash (61%) and considerably higher than other payment options, like virtual wallets requiring cash or card top-ups (56%) and credit cards (30%).

This shift in consumer behavior and preferences towards real-time payments has been accelerated by changing payment preferences due to the COVID-19 crisis. Around 30% of consumers in Southeast Asia have now reduced their usage of conventional payment methods like cash, credit cards and debit cards since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak. Because of these changes, about 53% of consumers are now using real-time payments a lot more than they were before the ongoing pandemic.

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