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60% of Filipinos carried less cash in 2021 - study

A significant percentage of Filipino consumers carried less cash last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study.

Citing the results of its study, financial services firm Visa said 60% of Filipinos carried less cash in their wallets while 84% had tried going entirely cashless in 2021.

“While cash is still commonplace in the Philippines the preference for cashless payments is clearly gaining momentum,” said Dan Wolbert, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam.

“Our study showed more Filipinos are confident to get by without cash and for longer periods of time – with more than half feeling confident to get by for a week or longer, as cashless payment options grow,” added Wolbert.

The transition to going cashless in the country was led by bill payments, supermarket expenditure, and retail shopping, the financial services company said.

“Filipinos believe COVID-19 has accelerated the country’s transition to a cashless society by at least three years. Now, seven out of 10 consumers anticipate that the Philippines can become fully cashless within the next seven to 10 years,” said Wolbert.

A majority of Filipinos have a preference for mobile wallets at 64%, followed by card payments online at 52%, card payments at physical merchants at 44%, and QR payments at 31%.

This showed that the pandemic has also driven the uptake of cashless payment methods, especially mobile wallets and card payments online, with a large number of first-time users due to the pandemic, Visa said.

Meanwhile, 83% of Filipinos are aware of contactless payments while 69% have made contactless payments in 2021, up from 66% in 2020.

Last year, the pandemic continued to be the main driver of online shopping growth, especially for digital purchases made via e-commerce apps, Visa said.

It said that more consumers turned to online shopping and started using apps or websites to shop for the first time.

The financial services firm said movement restriction orders in the past year also led to an increase in spending on items such as home office products, groceries, personal care items, and content platform subscriptions. — VBL, GMA News