Prepaid cards boom as cashless economy rises in PH | Inquirer Business
Average annual growth seen at 11%

Prepaid cards boom as cashless economy rises in PH

A rising cashless economy in the Philippines is seeing the prepaid card market growing by 11 percent yearly to reach $4.9 billion or about P256 billion in 2026, as regulators push for financial inclusion and fintech players emerge, according to Research and Markets.

The research firm said the prepaid card industry in the Philippines grew by an average of 9 percent yearly from 2017 to 2021, and is expected to end 2022 at $3.21 billion or about $168 billion.


“The rise of the cashless economy surged the prepaid card market in the Philippines in the last four to six quarters,” Research and Markets said.

Citing the Fourth Quarter 2021 Global Prepaid Card Survey, the company said about 38 percent of consumers worldwide started using digital payment methods for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Government support

Adding to this stimulus are government efforts to encourage the cashless economy, such as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) drive for financial inclusion.

Through its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap, the BSP is aiming at converting half of the volume of retail payments into digital form and draw in 70 percent of Filipino adults to the formal financial system by 2023.

As more Filipinos get access to financial services through micro-banking entities, electronic money issuers and remittance agents, the circulation of prepaid cards in the country also increased.

And with about 50 million adults not owning a bank account, fintech companies have taken root.

Research and Markets cited as an example India-based payments solution company Pine Labs, which has launched here prepaid payment services through subsidiary Qwikcilver.

Also, digital wallet and prepaid card provider PayMaya has introduced to its merchant partners the QR Ph payment scheme. This offers consumers a convenient digital payment option as the merchants can accept payments made by scanning quirk reaction codes regardless of their customers’ bank or e-wallet account providers.

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TAGS: cashless economy, prepaid card
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