Digital Payment is the New Normal for Filipinos

Filipinos are starting to embrace digital payment. (JFVelasquez Floro/WikimediaCommons)
Filipinos are starting to embrace digital payment. (JFVelasquez Floro/WikimediaCommons)

The ongoing threat of the worldwide pandemic allows people to start embracing cashless payments. Filipinos see digital payment as the new normal.

Filipinos lead the pack of digital payment users.

Kaspersky’s study noted that Filipinos appeared as the leading e-Cash users when it comes to online payments.

The global cybersecurity firm cited Filipinos with the highest percentage of new e-cash users at 37%. This is according to Kaspersky’s “Mapping a secure path
for the future of digital payments in APAC.”

Other nations that use digital payment include India (23%), Australia (15%), Vietnam (14%), Indonesia and Thailand (13%), and Singapore (11%). Countries including Malaysia, South Korea, and China have the lowest number of first-time online payment users.

“It is a welcome finding that the public is aware of the risks that come with online transactions and because of this, developers and providers of mobile payment applications should now look into the cybersecurity gaps in each stage of the payment process and implement security features, or even a secure-by-design approach to fully gain the trust of the future and existing digital payment adopters,” said Chris Connell, Kaspersky Asia Pacific managing director.

He added that mobile payment and mobile banking applications are just behind, with 58% and 52% using the platforms. Customers use it at least once or more a day a week for their finance-related activities.

China remains to dominate mobile payments in the country. Its financial technology behemoths, WeChat Pay and Alipay, are leaders even before the pandemic.

The study concluded that the pandemic stimulated more people, especially Filipinos to adopt the digital economy. It is likely to dismiss the use of cash in the coming decades.

The surge in digital payment all boils down to the pandemic. Due to the lockdown imposed in March of last year, most shops need to close. The situation made it difficult for consumers to pay at counters or banks.

Apps and Mobile Wallets as Mode of Payment

In the Philippines, telcos have their mobile wallets,  such as Globe GCash. Their user base surge during the national government’s shifting coronavirus regulations. Most Filipinos use their mobile wallets to pay for their purchase online. They also use it to pay for items bought at restaurants, malls, groceries, and others.

After the first half, GCash users accelerated to over 43 million. Its monthly gross transaction value secured ₱200 billion. For more Filipinos, digital payment is more convenient than pay with cash. With the deadly disease still lurking around, they don’t have to go outside and buy. Using their phones or devices, they can order online and pay through digital payment.

In May, GCash noted the total amount of payments made on its platform skyrocketed eight times from a year ago.

Local financial service, PayMaya claimed that registered users snowballed to 40 million as of the end of August. Last month, it secured a license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to operate a digital bank.

PayMaya is a digital payments firm and offers financial services headquartered in Metro Manila. It has a free mobile wallet app to buy load, send money, pay bills, and more. Users can link the physical card to the app and use it to withdraw from ATMs local and abroad.

Both PayMaya and GCash are concentrating on areas where there is need for digital payment establish fast. It will help lessen the spread of diseases as money contains germs and other transferrable harmful microorganisms.