Digital payments on the rise across Asia Pacific — Rapyd Research

Source: Rapyd

SINGAPORE: There has been a quick rise of new payment technologies that have emerged in recent years and they are gaining rapid adoption and popularity by offering a convenient payment experience, adapting to local context, and providing access to digital payments for traditionally underbanked communities.

Rapyd, a fintech service company, highlighted this in its recently released 2020 Asia Pacific eCommerce and Payment Study. The study analysed the financial habits, payment methods, considerations, and preferences of consumers in seven Asia Pacific countries, uncovering how consumer buying expectations and behaviours are evolving in an increasingly digital world.

The research, conducted in March and April 2020, surveyed 3,500 online consumers – 500 respondents per country in India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

The study helps businesses gain insights into consumer buying habits and payment diversity in Asia, helping eCommerce and mCommerce businesses increase their addressable audience and include new customer segments into the Internet economy by adopting the most relevant digital payment options, as buyers go increasingly cashless during the current health crisis.

E-commerce and mobile-commerce in the seven countries is worth some US$355 billion, as presented in the study. Southeast Asia’s internet economy hit US$100 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to US$300 billion by 2025.

Rapyd Asia Pacific vice president Joel Yarbrough said, “Since the beginning of the global pandemic, going digital is no longer optional. eCommerce is now the new baseline.

“All over Asia, we see stratospheric growth in digital payment methods, with local patterns and local winners in every country.”

It noted that while cards and card-powered mobile wallets are dominant in Japan (61 per cent) and Taiwan (51 per cent), across markets, there is a dramatic uptake of eWallets and bank transfers as preferred ways to pay.

“Taken together, eWallets and bank transfers represent the emerging wave of payments – particularly where they are enhanced by interoperable Real-Time Payment (RTP) systems like India with UPI (64 per cent) and Thailand with PromptPay (62 per cent). Even in a card-preferring market like Singapore, together eWallets and bank transfers, including PayNow, are preferred by 42 per cent of respondents, swinging all the way to 78 per cent in Indonesia,” it explained.

In its survey, it found that in Malaysia, bank transfer by Maybank2U, owned by Maybank, the largest bank in the country, is the most popular online payment method by usage (65 per cent) and preference (21.4 per cent).

eWallets including Touch N Go, Boost, PayPal, and GrabPay are all of rising importance with 22 per cent respondents choosing them as their preferred payment methods. Cash on Delivery remains relevant with 65 per cent users claiming to have done it in the past month, prior to the Movement Control Order (MCO), it added.

“Consumers in the region and current conditions continue to push businesses towards digitalisation and as digital adoption accelerates, it is essential for businesses to invest in the right technologies to build a strong online presence supporting mobile and social commerce trends catering to each market.

“This localisation is the key to sustaining the business in the time of the Covid-19 crisis, and for speedier recovery and further long-term growth,” Rapyd concluded.

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