By THE NATION
The 2016 Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study survey, which tracks consumers’ attitudes consumers on electronic payments and identifies trends in payments behaviour in six Southeast Asian nations, indicates a distinct shift away from cash.
The so-called emerging affluent were the heaviest users of electronic payments (83 per cent) compared to the mass market at 68 per cent. The main reasons cited for carrying less cash were the lack of safety (60 per cent), up from 57 per cent in 2015, and easy access to cash withdrawals (48 per cent), up from 38 per cent in 2015.
“As new innovation emerges, consumers are more willing to try new payment technologies. The case in point is how seven in ten Thais (67 per cent) prefer to automate payment, eliminating the entire physical process of paying,” said Suripong Tantiyanon, Visa country manager for Thailand.
“This came at a time when we are experiencing unprecedented growth in the on-demand economy, particularly in ride-sharing apps. This creates new demand for fast, secure and convenient card-not-present payments.”
New ways to authenticate payments are also a draw for Thais; 75 per cent of respondents stated they felt comfortable using biometrics technology such as fingerprint and facial recognition – the highest percentage in Southeast Asia. Enthusiasm for biometrics are skewed towards Generation Y, 79 per cent of whom have no problem relying on biometrics, compared with 70 per cent of Generation X.
“There is clearly a growing appetite for electronic payments in Thailand,” Suripong said. “Take for instance existing innovation such as Visa payWave contactless payments, which is widely available at major retailers, supermarkets and restaurants nationwide. We are not surprised to see that 82 per cent of respondents would choose contactless payments over cash, if merchants offer them.”
Electronic payments for on-demand services, like meal delivery, grocery delivery, transport and travel are shaping up in Thailand.
According to the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study, 54 per cent of respondents have used on-demand delivery services in Thailand in the past 12 months, with 29 per cent having used it two or three times a month. The most popular category was food delivery with three in four respondents (75 per cent) having used their mobile device to order food online. Cash is currently the main payment method at 71 per cent, but electronic means are catching up. Half the respondents (47 per cent) said they would use payment via “card on file” or by a credit card registered with the app, while 56 per cent said they would like to pay upon delivery using mobile wallet.
“Whether it is mobile wallet, payment gateway or any technology, our study shows that fundamentally Thai people still expect their payment experience to be safe, fast, and secure (82 per cent). And a global payment network like Visa – that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second – more than meets the demand,” said Suripong.