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More Filipinos adopt cashless transactions in 2021— Visa

As proof that more and more Filipinos are embracing digital payments than before the pandemic hit, a Visa study found that 60% of Filipinos now are carrying less cash in their (physical) wallets. The latest Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study also saw that 84% of respondents in the Philippines have tried going cashless in 2021.

The study reveals that Filipinos list convenience and safety as among the top reasons for shifting to the cashless form of payments. Some respondents also like that they are able to monitor their finances through digital payments.

“While cash is still commonplace in the Philippines the preference for cashless payments is clearly gaining momentum,” said Dan Wolbert, country manager for the Philippines and Guam, Visa. “Our study showed more Filipinos are confident to get by without cash and for longer periods of time — with more than half feeling confident to get by for a week or longer, as cashless payment options grow.”

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Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study was conducted in August-September 2021 through an online questionnaire to 1,000 Filipinos across Manila, Cebu, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan to assess consumer payment trends and interest in using new payment solutions.

Bill payments, supermarket expenditures, and retail shopping are the key drivers in the cashless payment user growth, according to the report.

“Filipinos believe COVID-19 has accelerated the country’s transition to a cashless society by at least three years. Now, seven out of 10 consumers anticipate that the Philippines can become fully cashless within the next seven to 10 years,” Wolbert said.

Variety of payment options

Cashless payment usage in the country is increasing across a variety of payment options, where Filipinos’ have a preference to use mobile wallets (64%), card payments online (52%), card payments at physical merchants (44%), and QR payments (31%).

“This shows that the pandemic has also driven the uptake of cashless payment methods, especially mobile wallets and card payments online, with a large number of first-time users due to the pandemic,” Visa said.

Contactless payments are seen as an emerging payment method in which consumers showed high interest. Eighty-three percent (83%) of Filipinos are aware of contactless payments while 69% have made contactless payments in 2021 (up from 66% in 2020).

In 2021, the pandemic continued to be the main driver of online shopping growth, especially digital purchases made via e-commerce apps. More consumers turned to online shopping and started using apps or websites to shop for the first time.

“Movement restriction orders in the past year also led to an increase in in-home spends that included home office products, groceries, personal care items, and content platform subscriptions,” Visa said. “Home delivery also remained high, with 1/3 of consumers being first-time users.”

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