Visa Philippines study shows Filipinos are ready to go cashless
A recent study by Visa Philippines called “Consumer Payment Attitudes,” have shown Filipinos to be generally interested in cashless transactions.
A cashless transaction refers to an electronic transfer of money enabled by store and online payment systems. Examples are debit and credit cards, e-wallets, mobile wallets, and online transfers.
While the most common manner of payment is still with cash, the study finds that most consumers, who already use traditional credit cards, are likely to try other contactless payment methods. Nearly 4 out of 5 respondents said they are willing to give it a go, citing convenience, speed, and “an innovative way to pay” as motivations.
The study also finds that seven in 10 Filipinos are already using contactless payment methods more often than they did two years ago.
Young families and people on their first jobs make up the demographic that strongly prefers this mode of transaction. However, there remains a high level of interest from other groups.
The viability of going completely cashless is there. A majority of respondents in the study have tried going cashless at some point or are combining it with other modes of payment. Three out of four Filipinos have tried going cashless over varying lengths of time. Nearly half have expressed confidence that they can do away with cash transactions for a month. Three in five are confident of lasting without cash transactions for three days. However, a realistic level of success is likely to be up to a few days, as six out of 10 have managed to do.
Most cashless transactions in the Philippines are currently made on travel, supermarket, and retail purchases. At this point, the study shows that it may not be so much about what is spent, but where it is spent that is propelling the cashless payment system. What really helped cashless transactions gain traction in the Philippines is the rising popularity of one business platform: e-commerce or business transactions made through the internet.
Filipinos’ changing payment pulse
A separate study from Visa called “Payment Pulse” shows that e-commerce now accounts for a quarter of all transactions in the country, while cashless transactions make up half of those e-commerce transactions.
Only one in three online transactions are fulfilled with cash-on-delivery. Mobile wallets as well as digital payment services are proving as strong as traditional card payments.
Filipinos are going cashless across several e-commerce categories, most commonly bills payments. Sixty-eight and 55 percent of Filipinos go cashless on e-commerce platforms when paying for utility and telco bills, respectively, because they can pay whenever it is convenient and avoid lining up in banks or payment centers. Forty-nine percent choose cashless transactions on supermarket purchases and 45% on fast food purchases. The difference in spending in e-commerce does not vary much across different payment modes.
Safety in online transactions
There are several measures that can be observed to ensure safety in one’s online transactions, such as setting up biometric authentication methods on phones and banking apps, like fingerprints or facial recognition; ensuring a secure connection by looking for an “s” (as in https://) in the URL when paying online; and signing up for transaction alerts.
For optimum protection, card users are advised to install the latest software on their gadgets to help protect their information and be aware of phishing scams—suspicious and unsolicited emails or phone calls requesting personal information.
A bright prospect for going cashless
The prospect of Filipinos going cashless is promising and there is much room for growth. Organizations such as Visa Philippines understand the need for consumer research, to chart development on this front and come up with ideal solutions that can advance systems of payment in the Philippines.
The convenience of going cashless has become especially relevant during these times, when an enhanced community quarantine is in place and people need to stay in and work from home. With the global pandemic affecting the supply chain and halting the operations of physical stores and businesses, many are learning to rely on e-commerce to purchase necessities and pay off bills in the safety of their own homes.
Contactless payment methods are being used and explored more than ever. This can quickly shift cashless transactions from a payment trend to the go-to and preferred payment method of the future.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.