While cash remains widely used in the Philippines, Filipinos are increasingly confident in going cashless, according to the latest Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study. Almost seven in 10 (69%) Filipinos express confidence to go cashless for a day, and more than half (52%) think they can use only electronic payments for up to three days.
In fact, the survey showed that 70% of respondents have gone cashless for at least a few days. Convenience (58%) and safety (47%) are the main drivers for this digital behavior.
“Technology has transformed the way consumers shop and pay for their purchases. Clearly, Filipinos are seeing the benefits of electronic payments in their lives, and this leads to a change in behavior, where they become confident in leading a digital lifestyle. In the country, we are seeing more Filipinos using digital payments and Filipinos are spending about 15% more on their cards as compared to a year ago,” says Stuart Tomlinson, Visa Country Manager for the Philippines and Guam.
Filipinos who shop online have increased from 71% in 2016 to 92% in 2017. In fact, 66% of them shop online at least once a month. Consumers cite utility bills or fines (59%) as one of the top categories paid online, followed by fashion (43%), travel (40%), and beauty products (36%).
“Online shopping is clearly a popular pastime for Filipinos. Besides spending more time shopping online, they are also buying more. In fact, based on our data, they are spending almost 30% more on online purchases as compared to a year ago. Currently, online shopping contributes about one-fifth of total spend on Visa cards in the Philippines,” added Mr. Tomlinson.
Meanwhile, on-demand services – in the form of online websites or mobile applications — are gaining preference as well. The study suggests that more respondents use digital platforms to book a ride (55%), order food (56%), and stream content (42%). Respondents cite convenience, comfort, and wider options to choose from as top reasons why they use on demand services.
Findings from the research also examine the banking attitudes of Filipinos. Data shows that 65% check their accounts once a week using digital platforms rather than going to a physical bank branch. Among those surveyed, 51% say using digital platforms helps them save time.
The study indicates that Filipinos are willing to use other payment methods. Seventy-one percent are aware of contactless payment technology which require customers to wave their cards or place their phone against the contactless terminal when purchasing an item. Almost seven in 10 (69%) are interested in using such a solution over cash.
“Today, we see great progress in contactless payments usage by Filipinos and we have to thank our issuers and merchant partners for working alongside us to transform the payments experience in the Philippines. This year, we partnered with key merchants such as SM Group to enable contactless payments at all their retail outlets in the country and this has given us a strong uplift in our contactless payments growth. Our data shows that the number of contactless payments in the Philippines have doubled quarter on quarter. Our objective is to bring contactless payments to more merchants in this country, and educate our community about this seamless and convenient way to pay,” said Mr. Tomlinson.
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