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Cashless transactions on the rise in PH; more consumers adapt to digital payment means

In the past, it’s always been cash that’s very dominant in terms of usage. But now, the use of mobile devices for payment, which rose to 87%, has already matched the level of cash.

Photo by Christiann Koepke from Unsplash.com

Cashless transactions are on the rise in the Philippines as more and more consumers adapt to digital payment means. This was according to the Visa’s latest Consumer Payment Attitudes Study which says that the use of cash for payment has decreased to 87% from 96% in 2022.

In the past, it’s always been cash that’s very dominant in terms of usage. But now, the use of mobile devices for payment, which rose to 87%, has already matched the level of cash. The use of cards, whether it is swiped or tapped in a terminal, has likewise increased to 70%. These payment innovations are driving the shift to cashless payments.

The annual Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study provides insights into consumer payment behaviors in key markets, including the Philippines. The latest survey, conducted from October to November 2023, interviewed 1,000 Filipino consumers aged 18 to 65 years old, spread across different cities/regions and income brackets, with minimum monthly income of PhP 12,000.

Representing 43%, these Filipino consumers said they carry less cash in their wallet due to the growing consumer habit of using cashless and contactless payments, alongside the increasing acceptance of cashless payments among stores and merchants. Supermarkets (88%), food and dining (86%), and bills payment (82%) are merchant-stores customers believe to have more cashless facilities for accepting payments.   

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The study also seen an increase in the number of merchant-stores that support mobile wallets, with 87% said they have seen an increase in acceptance for mobile wallets. Besides, 63% have seen an increase in card acceptance through swiping, and 52% believe and have seen an increase for contactless.

“Filipinos are becoming more comfortable with cashless payments, and we are confident that they will continue to embrace new innovations in the digital payment landscape,” says JeffNavarro, Visa country manager for the Philippines. “With growth attributed to increasing payment acceptance across merchants for cards, both dip and contactless, as well as mobile wallets, Visa remains committed to ensuring a seamless transition to a cash-lite society by providing secure and convenient digital payment solutions.”

Among mobile wallet users, paying through QR codes is the most preferred method for 38% of consumers, making mobile wallets the most preferred funding source for QR payments. Scanning the QR code in-store is the preferred mode of payment by 78% of its users.

When travelling overseas, Filipinos prefer to use cards for cross-border payments, where 55% of consumers prefer debit and credit cards for the convenience, time savings, and hassle-free user experience. An emerging trend is the use of QR codes for cross-border payments, with 37% of Filipinos currently aware of and have tried using it. Meanwhile, 69% of those who have not tried it have expressed interest in using it in the future.

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