The COVID-19 pandemic not only accelerated companies’ digital transformation but may have also increased consumer awareness in terms of digital services available today. The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study shows “over 8 in 10 of 83% of Filipino respondents are aware of these digital payment services.”
The study, which was conducted between August and September 2020, reveals that 81% of the respondents are interested in using digital banking services. It is interesting to note that 32% have already dive into digital banking indicating the heightened awareness of its benefits, especially in a world trying to dodge the spread of a highly contagious virus.
The Visa study finds that the top interest drivers for Filipinos to use digital banking services include access to banking services any time of the day (68%), time saved from not having to queue at bank branches (68%), and convenience (67%). It also showed that Filipinos are most keen to work with a financial services brand for digital banking services (93%) and traditional banks (92%), followed by new start-ups with digital banking services (72%).
“As more digital-based solutions and trends emerge in the market, Filipinos are more open to new innovations that make payments and banking more convenient, accessible, and seamless,” said Dan Wolbert, country manager for the Philippines and Guam, Visa. “There is opportunity in the country for traditional banks and new players to launch digital banking services in the country that will better serve the needs of underserved and underpenetrated segments.”
The study, which was based on an online survey of 1,014 Filipinos aged 18-65 years old, shows that being able to pay their bills (84%) online is the topmost reason for the interest in digital banking services followed by local remittance services (78%).
Interestingly, “only” 76% said that they are interested in actual banking services for deposits and money withdrawals. The preference of using digital banking for traditional bank services such as investments (52%), international transfers (48%), and loans (46%) is lower.
In addition, 86% of Filipino respondents would switch current banking services to digital banking services if the bank provided better rewards and 85% would do so if they can benefit from lower costs for their banking transactions. Filipinos’ interest to use digital banking services increased to 80% compared to 70% in the previous year when the same research was conducted.
The Visa study also shows that Filipino respondents are now aware of biometrically authenticated payments which grew to approximately 80% in 2020 from 60% in 2019. Almost 8 in 10 Filipinos express high awareness and interest in using biometrically authenticated payments, especially the Gen Z and affluent segments. Biometric payment is perceived as a quick (62%) and innovative (61%) way to pay. In addition five in 10 Filipinos (55%) think it is a more secure way to pay. However, usage is low at 23 percent since its accessibility depends on market availability.
Finger scan as one of the biometric authentication methods is most popular amongst Filipinos (59%) especially for making bill payments or purchases at convenience stores. This is followed by facial recognition (31%) and retina scan (16%).