Southeast Asia

How digital payments unlocks new growth corridors in SEA (Manila Standard)

It is easy to understate the impact of COVID-19 to the future of business. For certain industries, like retail, it is difficult to simplify just how big a change the pandemic has ignited.

PayPal 2020 PH Consumer Survey results revealed 87 percent of Filipinos have increased their usage of digital payment platforms during the pandemic.
Source: Manila Standard/Paypal

The crisis has accelerated digital payment adoption at a rapid pace. What experts previously predicted to happen in years is now on track to being embraced in months.

Driven by social distancing protocols, shoppers across Southeast Asia have gone from wandering aisles to browsing websites. It is equally important to note that these new consumer habits are taking root and will likely persist, as online shopping becomes the norm even after lockdown measures are lifted.

While there are many countries in SEA where cash remains the preferred method of payment, what we’re seeing now is a behavioral shift to digital across multiple transaction decisions—from food deliveries to grocery shopping to bill payments.

In the Philippines, the result of PayPal’s recent 2020 PH Consumer Survey revealed that 87 percent of Filipinos have increased their usage of digital payment platforms during the pandemic, with 9 in 10 preferring to pay digitally instead of with cash during this time.

These trends are palpable across numerous countries in SEA. According to a report, nearly half of Malaysian consumers have increased their online shopping activities. The same report also cited that Malaysia leads other countries in SEA when it comes to using e-wallets at 40 percent, ahead of the Philippines (36 percent), Thailand (27 percent), and Singapore (26 percent).

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Manila Standard

9 November 2020

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