Digital wallets slowly building momentum

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New PayPal study revealed that one out of three Filipinos are aware of digital wallets

Athough global electronics payments giant Paypal still sees cash transaction as its main competitor in the Philippines, digital wallets are slowly gaining steam.

PayPal logo AFP PHOTO

PayPal Regional Head for Strategic Partnerships for Southeast Asia Abhinav Kumar said that even with the presence of some digital payments provider in the country, Filipinos opt to use cash for their personal transactions.

“The biggest competition for us is still cash …,”  he told reporters following a recent press briefing in Makati City.


This was supported by PayPal’s 2017 “Digital Payments: Thinking beyond Transactions” report, revealing 57 percent of the respondents said they still choose to use cash when purchasing. While only 12 percent of the respondents use digital wallets for their transactions.

PayPal said this was due to the “lack of available information on digital wallets.”

The study surveyed about 4,000 people across China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia.

Kumar continued: “The bigger opportunity that we have is to change the ecosystem through the digitization of cash.”

The good news, however, is that the Philippine edition of the same study revealed the rising awareness on digital wallets. Kumar said this is vital to achieving cashless ecosystem.

It said one in three Filipino consumers are now aware of digital wallets, while one in five uses it as one of payment methods. Among the digital payments available, e- and mobile wallets are the preferred choice of consumers.

“[ Still], compared to the Asian findings, the Philippines ranks among the lowest when it comes to awareness of new payment methods,” it noted in the report.

“This shows that there are more opportunities that can be tapped in to to drive awareness and see higher adoption of digital payments,” the study added.

One of the opportunities that PayPal see to boost adoption of digital payments was to tap remittance services, wherein the country receives remittances from millions of overseas Filipinos.

Electronic payment system companies can take advantage of this “to digitize cross-border remittance services as a means to reduce costs and increase convenience for consumers.”

PayPal remains positive Filipinos could soon transact without cash given the increasing penetration of smartphones in the Philippines, coupled with the government’s support for digitization.

PayPal conducted the survey to over 500 consumers and 200 merchants in the Philippines.

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