SUNDAY, April 21, 2024

Almost 50% of Thais aim to avoid using cash after pandemic ends: Visa

Almost 50% of Thais aim to avoid using cash after pandemic ends: Visa

Nearly half of all Thai consumers – 45 per cent – are likely to avoid using money after the Covid-19 pandemic ends, Visas Consumer Payment Attitudes study showed on Wednesday.

The study also delved into which activities Thais are looking forward to spending on when recovery is underway. The top three are travelling within Thailand (35 per cent), travelling abroad to Covid-safe destinations (29 per cent) and making short getaways in their own cities (19 per cent).

“The pandemic has had a massive impact on how people live, work and shop both in Thailand and globally,” Visa Thailand country manager Suripong Tantiyanon said. “As we have crossed the one-year mark since the pandemic hit, we are taking a look at how events in the past are shaping our future.”

According to the study, other behaviours that are likely to become a new normal post-Covid are wearing a mask (62 per cent) and avoiding crowds (43 per cent).

The situation also prompted many Thais to explore different shopping channels in the present crisis, the most popular being apps and websites (65 per cent), direct delivery at home after orders via phone from local stores (47 per cent), and shopping on social media channels (44 per cent).

Thai consumers have been forced to rethink their spending priorities.

According to the respondents, spending categories that experienced the largest reduction are international trips (63 per cent), going to cinemas or public events (60 per cent), buying luxury items such as bags, watches and jewellery (60 per cent), fine-dining (58 per cent), well-being treatment (57 per cent) and buying new clothes (54 per cent).

Looking ahead, in addition to domestic, international and short getaways, Thais are preparing to resume spending on gadgets (16 per cent), groceries and personal care items (15 per cent), and going out to enjoy fine-dining and out of home entertainment (10 per cent). Less than one in ten plans to upgrade home appliances (9 per cent) and spend on fashion and clothing (8 per cent).

“We strongly believe some of the behaviour shifts will become permanent rather than a temporary swing. This includes a preference for using touchless payments such as contactless cards or smartphones, which offer better experience and are safer for both buyers and sellers,” Suripong said.

“While we are hoping for a speedy return to normalcy, Visa is working with others across the payments industry and beyond to prepare for a future that has arrived sooner than we expected,” he added.