Thunes and Kapronasia, a strategic advisory and financial services consultancy, have issued a report, “From Cash to QR codes: Unpacking Southeast Asia’s Diverse Consumer Payments Culture,” examining the region’s world-leading payment landscape.
The report explores why payment digitization has been on the rise in Southeast Asia (SEA).
The reasons for this include “the growth of eCommerce post-COVID and improvements to communications infrastructure and broadband. Additionally, SEA governments and central banks have implemented new policies to encourage electronic payments to stimulate their economies.”
As a result, a range of payment types such as digital wallets, Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL), Domestic QR real-time payments (RTP) and super apps “have flourished in SEA, alongside more traditional modes of payment like cash and bank card usage.”
The specific mix of payments “differs on a country-level, depending on the level of economic development and banking penetration. Overall, the payment culture and technology are at the global forefront and rapidly being adopted by other emerging markets worldwide.”
The analysis by Thunes and Kapronasia also covers important regional trends, including how:
- Cash retains a vital role in Point-of-Sale payments.
- eCommerce continues to drive digital wallet adoption.
- Two or three digital wallet players vie for local market dominance amid low consumer loyalty.
- Digital wallets offer micro-financial services to increase their utilization.
- Consumers in rural and urban areas adopt cashless payments for different reasons.
Irina Chuchkina, Chief Marketing Officer, said:
“We’re delighted to explore with Kapronasia how Southeast Asia has pioneered ground-breaking changes in payments. This technology successfully bridges gaps in the existing banking infrastructure to enable unbanked consumers to use digital financial services.”
Zennon Kapron, Founder and Director at Kapronasia, said:
“The mosaic payment culture in Southeast Asia sets an example for many other markets worldwide. The digital landscape has been shaped by the availability of banking services, new consumer preferences and marketing efforts by digital wallet companies to drive cashless payments.”