Survey finds increasing use of debit cards among Filipinos

More and more Filipinos prefer to use their debit cards than they did five years ago, and have greater interest to use electronic payments on eCommerce web sites and apps, according to the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2015.

The annual study delves into the current attitudes consumers have on electronic payments and identifies trends in payments behavior among consumers in six Southeast Asian markets, including the Philippines. Previously Visa Philippines has published findings and insights on consumer attitudes toward  contactless payments, preference for eCommerce through mobile devices, and the burgeoning tech-savvy “Generation X” spenders.

Overall, electronic payments are experiencing healthy adoption; there has been a significant increase in the usage of electronic payments in 2015 (29 percent) compared to 2014 (21 percent). Two-thirds of Filipinos (66 percent) would like payments to be automated, eliminating the physical process of paying, and a similar number (65 percent) would like to move away from cash. This is reflected in the fact that more than a quarter (26 percent) of those surveyed said they are carrying less cash compared to five years ago.

One of the main reasons for moving away from cash is safety; six in 10 Filipinos believe carrying cash is unsafe (59 percent). Meanwhile, ownership of payments cards (excluding automated teller machine [ATM] card) among Filipinos has increased from 38 percent in 2014 to 43 percent in 2015 with two cards per person. There is also stronger preference for debit-card use (59 percent) versus preference for ATM use (41 percent).

“We see a healthy convergence between a strong interest in using debit cards for transactions and increasing awareness of security in electronic payments. The EMV chip migration, ordered completed by the central bank in January 2017, will help to expand card acceptance nationwide. Innovation, such as Visa payWave contactless payment, too, will play a key role in the Philippines,” said Stuart Tomlinson, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam.

ECommerce is also driving electronic payments, growing faster than face-to-face transactions.

“Though the Philippines’s eCommerce industry is still in its early stage, it is growing rapidly. Consumers have been making regular online transactions: bill payments (40 percent of surveyed), travel-related purchases (37 percent), food delivery (27 percent), personal electronics (24 percent), and fashion and accessories (21 percent).

“These are growth opportunities, as a high proportion of these transactions are made via mobile devices,” he added.

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