Report: Cashless payments rising in PH but users lack cyber hygiene

According to a new study from software firm VMware, more than a third (39%) of consumers in the Philippines surveyed do not take proper measures to secure their financial data, using the same passwords for some to all of the services and apps that contain their personal payment data.

As more consumers in the Philippines adopt cashless and e-payment options, poor cyber hygiene practices could put consumers, banks and financial institutions (FSIs) at great risk of financial fraud and losses, the study said.

The majority (88%) of consumers surveyed store their bank account details on at least one to six applications, yet only a handful (28%) are practicing good cybersecurity practices by using different passwords for all their accounts.

That said, the Philippines still emerges as the one of safest in the region, topping the regional average of 24% and coming in right behind Thailand (30%).

“Cashless and e-payment options have much growth potential in the Philippines, where much of the country remains unbanked. The recent launch of the National Retail Payment System by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to standardize electronic payments with the aim of pushing cashless transactions to 20% of total transacted volume means the pace of adoption will accelerate in the coming months,” said Victor Silvino, country manager of VMware Philippines.

“In this new digital reality, we expect that risks of data breaches and financial fraud will be amplified. Existing architecture is insufficient to guard against this — banks and FSIs need a new network infrastructure to protect apps, data and users across multiple cloud environments.”

The study also found that consumers in the Philippines trust the level of security afforded by new payment methods more than their regional counterparts, embracing the use of connected devices, connected things, e-payment wallets and apps.

Banks and FSIs thus need to do more to secure these new payment methods through innovation and deploying robust infrastructure, the report added.

In contrast, consumers in Singapore and Malaysia place lesser trust in these new methods of payment and are more comfortable with the traditional transaction methods such as cash and ATMs.

Filipino consumers also indicated high levels of satisfaction with their banks, rating all of these attributes higher than the regional average:

• Speed in answering queries or solving issues;
• Availability of customer service channels;
• Ease at processes and logins to make transfers, get info or register for service;
• Transparency in policies and understandable terms and conditions;
• Data privacy and ethical use of data.

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