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Thai consumers most focused on financial discipline in Asean amid Covid-19: survey

More Thai consumers are prioritising financial health during the Covid-19 pandemic compared with their Asean counterparts, according to the UOB Asean Consumer Sentiment Study 2020.


The study found that close to three in four Thai consumers (72 per cent) want to manage their financial health, ahead of respondents in Malaysia (70 per cent), Vietnam (69 per cent), Indonesia (60 per cent), and Singapore (46 per cent).


Sixty-four per cent of Thai respondents also said they have changed the way they manage and track their personal budgets to stay financially disciplined during Covid-19.


Among Thai consumers, millennials (66 per cent) have made the most prominent shift to tighten their budgets and are tracking spending more closely during the pandemic.


More than three in four (76 per cent) of millennials also say that they are using digital platforms and tools to help them look after their finances more effectively.


The same trend can also be seen among customers of TMRW, Asean’s first mobile-only bank for the region’s digital generation that is powered by UOB, the bank said. In 2020, the number of TMRW customers – many of whom are millennials – who actively tapped the mobile-only bank’s AI-driven Smart Insights to keep track of and to manage better their finances grew by four times in 2020, UOB said.


Each Smart Insight is personalised to the customer as it is based on his or her transaction data.


Through TMRW, customers are also able to set a budget for their monthly expenses and receive alerts when their spending reaches their pre-set limit, UOB said.


In addition to reshaping the financial behaviours of Thai consumers, the Covid-19 pandemic has also influenced their financial aspirations.


The UOB Asean Consumer Sentiment Study 2020 found that more than half of Thai consumers (52 per cent) recalibrated their financial portfolio to grow their savings pot during pandemic.


Savings accounted for 40 per cent of change in holdings followed by fixed deposits (39 per cent) and insurance plans (36 per cent). A third of Thai respondents (36 per cent) also said that they had increased their investments during the pandemic.


Published : March 13, 2021