By Espie Angelica A. de Leon
The number of Filipinos going cashless for their transactions is growing, citing safety, functionality, and convenience among their top reasons for opting to make electronic payments.
In particular, 59% of Filipinos prefer using credit and debit cards while 49% own more payment cards now than they did five years ago. In fact, the Philippines has been seeing a drop in preference for cash usage since 2015.
These were among the findings of the Visa Consumer Attitudes Index Study, a Visa-commissioned online study on payment trends and attitudes in the Philippines and Southeast Asia conducted among 3,000 consumers from the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Five hundred of those surveyed were Filipinos.
These findings and other statistics were presented by Visa country manager for Philippines and Guam Stuart Tomlinson in a press conference at Shangri-la at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City on August 16.
According to Tomlinson, total transactions made through Visa cards as of June 2017 increased by 26% while 45% of Visa cards in the Philippines are digitally active.
Aside from security, functionality, and convenience, speedier transactions and wide acceptance of electronic payments were also mentioned by respondents as their reasons for going cashless.
More Filipinos are also engaging in online shopping.
Seventy-one percent shopped online at least once a month in 2016 compared to 60% in 2015. Meanwhile, 50% did their shopping via smartphone at least once a month in 2016. Desktops and laptops remained as the dominant devices for e-commerce.
Topping the list for shopping must-haves or services purchased or done online were bill payments, personal electronics, clothes, fashion accessories, travel-related items, and beauty products.
The respondents named three major reasons for considering online shopping as a great option. Fifty-six percent said it was because online shopping provided a more secure payment system while 55% stated that it allowed them to compare prices across various merchants. Meanwhile, 52% cited the ease of check out as their main reason.
According to data in VisaNet, e-commerce in the Philippines is growing by more than 30% year-on-year as of December 2016.
?Electronic payments only account for around nine percent of consumer spending in the Philippines. This means we still have a significant opportunity to displace cash and provide people with faster, safer and more convenient payment methods,? said Tomlinson.
The study also shed light on Filipinos? attitudes toward Peer to Peer (P2) payment. It found that three out of four respondents know about the P2P payment system with more than one in four preferring it as an option for reimbursement and payment of recurring bills.
Filipinos were also found to be the most interested in engaging in contactless payments in Southeast Asia.
?It?s clear that Filipinos are becoming more digitally savvy and are starting to move away from cash,? added Tomlinson. ?We?re working closely with our banks and merchants to expand the footprint of Visa payWave contactless payments across the country and are committed to accelerating the nation toward a cashless society.?