Digital Payment Adoption in Asia Pacific_Landscape

Cash remains as king in the Philippines and Asia Pacific (APAC), at least for now, with 70 percent of respondents in Kaspersky’s latest study, still using physical notes for day-to-day transactions.

However, 58 percent are already using mobile payments and 52 percent are doing mobile banking applications at least once a week up to more than once a day for finance-related tasks.

“The pandemic has triggered more people to dip their toes into the digital economy, which may fully dethrone cash use here in the next three to five years,” says Chris Connell, Kaspersky’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific.

Significantly, the Philippines logged the highest percent of new e-cash adopters at 37 percent, followed by India (23 percent), Australia (15 percent), Vietnam (14 percent), Indonesia (13 percent), and Thailand (13 percent).

The lowest number of first-time online payment users are China (5 percent), South Korea (9 percent), and Malaysia (9 percent).

Majority (90 percent) of the Asian respondents has used mobile payment apps at least once in the past 12 months, confirming the fintech boom in the region.

Nearly 2 in 10 (15 percent) of respondents only started using these platforms after the pandemic.

Kaspersky’s study, “Mapping a secure path for the future of digital payments in APAC”, covered local users’ interactions with available online payments in the region and examined their attitudes towards them.

Safety and convenience triggered more users in APAC to embrace financial technologies.

More than half of the survey pollees noted that they started using digital payment methods during the pandemic as it is safer and more convenient than making a face-to-face transaction.

Respondents also cited that these platforms allowed them to make payments while adhering to social distancing (45%) and that these are the only way they can do monetary transactions during the lockdown (36 percent).

For 29 percent of users, digital gateways are more secure now compared to pre-COVID-19 era and the same percentage also appreciate the incentives and rewards providers offer.

While only a small fraction, friends and relatives (23 percent) still influenced new adopters as well as the local government (18 percent) promoting the use of digital payment methods.

When asked about their reservations prior to using mobile banking and payment apps, first-time users admitted their fears – afraid of losing money online (48%) and afraid of storing their financial data online (41 percent).

Almost 4 in 10 also revealed they do not trust the security of these platforms.

More than a quarter also find this technology too troublesome and requires many passwords or questions (26 percent), while 25 percent confessed their personal devices are not secure enough.

To help users in APAC embrace digital payment technologies securely, Kaspersky experts caution against fake communications, and being wary when it comes to handing over sensitive information.

Do not readily share private or confidential information online, especially when it comes to requests for financial information and payment details.

Use your own computer and Internet connection when making payments online.

Don’t share your passwords, PIN numbers or one-time passwords (OTPs) with family or friends.

While it may seem convenient, or a good idea, these provide an entryway for cybercriminals to trick users into revealing personal information to collect bank credentials.

Source: Manila Bulletin (