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Visa sees increase in use of cashless payments in PH

Citing convenience and safety, 89% of consumers in the Philippines showed an increasing preference for the use of mobile wallets or e-wallets in 2022, according to the latest Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study.

The Visa study also saw that half of the respondents in the country indicated that they are carrying lesser cash than before because of the growing availability of cashless payments in stores and other establishments. Knowing that they now have several options boosts the respondents’ confidence level in doing cashless transactions.

As consumers realize the benefits of cashless options such as mobile wallets and cards, we are witnessing a progressive shift towards a cash-lite society in the Philippines,” said Jeff Navarro, country manager for the Philippines and Guam at Visa, a payments processing company.

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The key drivers for this behavioral shift is the availability of these payment options and the respondents believe that these are safer and more secure than carrying cash with them, according to the study.

Second to mobile wallets, cards at 70% are the second most preferred form of payment among the 1,000 respondents, ages 18-65 years old, of the study conducted in September-October 2022.

Rise in the use of QR for payments

In-app payments, such as bill payments, in mobile wallets constitute 68% of total usage among the respondents. For card payments, online transactions hold the most usage at 50%, closely followed by in-store payments through card swiping or insertion at 43%. 

Contactless payments via card tapping have gained popularity, accounting for 37% of usage.

Some 53%, a jump from 36% in 2021, of consumers are also discovering the ease of using QR codes. Interest in QR codes among Filipinos has skyrocketed from 67% in 2021 to 93% in 2022.

“The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is already pushing for the standardized use of QR Ph, which means its adoption and acceptance points will be bigger,” said Navarro.

However, the Philippines still lag behind its Southeast Asian counterparts as the country comes only second to Indonesia in terms of mobile wallet payment adoption. 

Even if security is among the top reasons for surge in cashless adoptions, it is also one of the barriers along with hacking.

“We anticipate that cashless and contactless payment methods will continue to gain prevalence in terms of awareness, interest, and usage,” said Navarro.