Sunday, March 3, 2024

Pinoys remain positive on e-wallets despite issues encountered: study

A new report from Nomura Research Institute (NRI) has shown the remarkable preference for e-wallets among Filipinos, undeterred by the issues they have encountered in the ever-evolving digital payment landscape.

The study noted that e-wallets have successfully integrated themselves into Filipino society, and their future appears robust, appealing to a diverse range of age groups.

“As e-wallet providers continue to innovate and address concerns, it is probable that Filipino consumers’ reliance on these digital platforms will remain unfazed,” according to the report conducted by NRI’s Singapore-Manila Branch.

Of the 477 e-wallet users in Metro Manila who answered the survey, 195 or 41% have encountered issues in the last six months.

Most of the issues encountered relate to the technical challenges with 53% of respondents noting that they have experienced multiple and unplanned downtimes, while 44% and 38% of the respondents expressed difficulty in receiving one-time passwords (OTP) and in opening the app, respectively.

A few of the respondents have also experienced integration challenges, such as delays in cash in or cash out with 34% and 15%, respectively, as well as security concerns like spam at 31%, unauthorized transactions at 13%, and loss/theft of money at 16%.

Despite these challenges, all survey respondents have expressed their intention to continue using e-wallet in the next six months.

“We hypothesize that this behavior is largely driven out of necessity and convenience. The use of e-wallet has already become integral to consumers’ lives, motivated by wider adoption of e-commerce and digital financial platforms in the Philippines,” the study noted.

The study came out with the following results:

  • Filipinos have embraced e-wallets for low-value everyday transactions, including sending money to family and friends, sending money to merchants for online purchases, and as an alternative to carrying cash for everyday purchases.
  • E-wallets appeal as a hassle-free alternative to traditional payment methods.
  • High trust for e-wallet as digital financial platform.

While security-related concerns rank at the bottom of issues encountered, it remains the key concern for the few respondents who spent less time using e-wallet in the last six months (43% of the 4% of respondents mentioned security issues as concern for the decline in the frequency of use of e-wallet).

The study also revealed that 57% of the respondents shared that they feel insufficient support from the government.

Highlighted reason for this sentiment is due to the difficulty in filing complaints against e-wallet operators and fraudulent activities with 71% of the respondents and 75% of those with issues encountered, respectively.

Similarly, 67% in both groups feel that the government do not possess advanced tools for tracing online criminals and perpetrators of cyberattacks.

Lastly, 60% of respondents from both groups share that there are no penalties on e-wallet operators in cases of money loss, theft, and fraudulent activities.

“This uniformity underscores the tacit need for protection that Filipino consumers demand from the government in safeguarding their interests in the digital financial landscape,” the report said.

“As such, this may explain why majority of users are looking for better protection from e-wallet platforms based on the preferred features that they have indicated in the survey and more support from the government and are still wary about their security while using e-wallet platforms.”

The preferred features among both the total respondents and the sub-population were consistent. Notably, a strong preference for insurance against loss/theft of money is shared by 68% of the respondents moreso by those with issues encountered.

Enhanced security policies and features follow closely (55%), underscoring crucial importance of financial security.

However, the report noted that “it is clear that the appeal of these digital platforms far outweighs the occasional inconveniences experienced by users.”

“Furthermore, consumers are expressing the growing preference for stronger security measures from e-wallet platforms, indicating an anticipation for more robust financial loss protection,” the report concluded.

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