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Cash payments in decline as more Pinoys go cashless — study

The heavy usage of cash for payments in the Philippines eased last year amid growing acceptance of cashless payment methods across various retail categories, according to results of global payments solutions giant Visa.

At a press briefing in Makati City on Thursday, Visa country manager for the Philippines Jeff Navarro presented the findings of the latest Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study.

The study was conducted in October to November 2023 through an online survey of 1,000 Filipino consumers ages 18 to 65 years old, across different cities and income brackets.

Navarro, citing the results of the study, said cash usage among Filipinos declined to 87% in 2023 from 96% in 2022.

Notably, the study showed that 43% of Filipinos carry less cash in their wallets “mainly due to the growing consumer habit of using cashless and contactless payments, alongside the increasing acceptance of cashless payments among stores and merchants.”

Filipino consumers observed growing acceptance for cashless payments, particularly in supermarkets at 88%, food and dining at 86%, and bill payments at 82%.

“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,” said Navarro.

“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,” he added.

The study also revealed that 52% of consumers are confident to go out without cash and rely on cashless payment methods entirely for at least a week. 

Moreover, one in three consumers in the Philippines believe that the country will be a cashless society by the year 2030.

Meanwhile, card payments use stood at 70% while mobile wallet and cash usage were on par with each other at 87%.

“Our study shows that the cashless wave is maintaining its momentum in the Philippines. We are moving closer to achieving a cashless Philippine society, but we still have some way to go,” said Navarro.

For his company’s part in this ongoing cashless trend, Navarro said, “Visa plays a strategic role in the payment ecosystem to drive financial and digital inclusion by partnering with the government, banks and financial institutions, and fintechs to support the development of digital payments in the Philippines. We are supporting the digitization journey in the Philippines such as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap  by providing consumers and businesses with convenient, seamless and safe digital payment solutions.”—RF, GMA Integrated News