Cash Is Still King Despite E-Wallets & The Pandemic

Study finds only 9% of Malaysians started using digital payment during Covid-19

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A recent study showed that 90% of the Asian respondents have used mobile payment apps at least once in the past 12 months, confirming the fintech boom in the region. 

Nearly 15% of them only started using these platforms after the pandemic. 

The Philippines has the most new e-cash adopters at 37%, followed by India (23%), Australia (15%), Vietnam (14%), Indonesia (13%), and Thailand (13%). 

The lowest number of first-time online payment users are China (5%), South Korea (9%), and Malaysia (9%).

Data from our fresh research showed that cash is still king, at least for now, in APAC with 70% of the respondents still using physical notes for their day-to-day transactions. 

However, mobile payment and mobile banking applications are not far behind with 58% and 52% users utilising these platforms at least once a week up to more than once a day for their finance-related tasks. 

From these solid statistics, we can infer that the pandemic has triggered more people to dip their toes into the digital economy, which may fully dethrone cash use here in the next three to five years.

Chris Connell, Managing Director for the Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.
Chris Connell, Managing Director for the Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.

Why Not Use Cash?

More than half of those who were surveyed said that they started using digital payment methods during the pandemic because they feel it is safer and more convenient than making a face-to-face transaction.

It allowed them to make payments while adhering to social distancing and in some cases, it is the only way they can do monetary transactions during the lockdown. 

Only 29% of users appreciate the incentives and rewards providers offer.

When asked about why some folks had reservations about using mobile banking and payment apps, the answer is almost always a lack of trust in the security of these platforms. 

However, about a quarter of them also says that the technology is too troublesome, requiring many passwords and hoops to jump through to use.

About The Study

The study, titled Mapping a secure path for the future of digital payments in APAC was conducted by research agency YouGov in key territories in APAC, including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Survey responses were gathered in July 2021 with a total of 1,618 respondents surveyed across the stated countries.

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