Southeast Asia’s Interest in Digital Payments is on a New High

by Je Yaranon on February 2021

In a time where things have pivoted away from virtually everything we’ve been accustomed to, even cashless payments didn’t fall under the few exceptions. Maybe it’s to be expected since the pandemic has required us to avoid close contact as much as possible, and certain cash-free payment methods cater to that.

While North America and Europe are still the talk of the industry, however, the modest continent of Asia has its own surge, namely within the Southeast.

True to the craziness of 2020, the year ended with Southeast Asia being regarded as a contactless payment-dominated region. Contact-free transactions like bank and mobile transfers have overtaken credit and debit for the first time ever, which is huge as it has always been two of the most widely used methods when paying digitally.

Credit Visa’s continuous drive for exploring the payment revolution for recognizing the trend. In their study just months ago, one that involved 40 countries, they learned that consumers from the usually traditional SEA area are making a shift in their payment ways.

Here’s are four quick facts seen in the study:

Three in four consumers in Southeast Asia have increased their use of contactless payment since 2018.

Seven in ten consumers in Southeast Asia see themselves using contactless payments more and more over the next year.

Usage-wise, Singapore is ways ahead of its neighboring countries. The ever-forward-thinking nation is at 84% in contactless cards (the SEA average is 41%) and 56% in mobile phones (the SEA average is 46%).

Majority of consumers in Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Myanmar wants to have a digital banking service.

Two-thirds (66%) of consumers in Singapore believe they are becoming more familiar with contactless payments, and now prefer payment apps over cash. In fact, 78% also intend to keep using the even after the pandemic.

Chavi Jafa, Visa’s Head of Business Solutions for Asia Pacific, shared his thoughts on their study. He, too, is expecting things to keep pushing forward:

“The stickiness of digital payments cannot be underestimated, as three-quarters of respondents indicated a preference to continue paying digitally instead of going back to cash, even when the pandemic has subsided.”

The quick rise of contactless payments says a lot about the comfortability it brings to consumers. The demand only truly started when the lockdown started (around March and April 2020), and it’s already boasting a considerably solid usage and trust, nothing like credit and debit during its respective introductions.

What does this mean for business owners?

The COVID-19 pandemic has become the industry’s strangest game-changer, but the circumstances are no different than following a fad or adjusting because of a certain a breakthrough. Businesses simply have to adapt.

As proven by the study, this is very likely to stay, maybe even for good. Contactless payments have a long list of benefits that go beyond following social distancing rules.

Here at VeritasPay, we offer safe and reliable online payment solutions that can help kickstart or boost a business’s capability in online payment acceptance. Go to this link and learn more.


As VeritasPay continues to provide high-quality payment solutions and promote cashless transactions, the company is also dedicated in bringing in fresh and informative content. We’ll be continuing to share new articles about our products, services, and varying subjects within the industry as we move forward.

Contact us here to know more.

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