Asian customers still prefer cash over digital and electronic payments, PayPal reports

29 August 2017

CNBC published a new study conducted by PayPal which revealed that major part of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region still give their preference to cash when it comes to making payments, despite a host of digital payment options available across the markets to them. PayPal research surveyed about 4,000 consumers from India, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The survey reports that around 57% of the polled use cash for their routine purchases more often than electronic payment methods. The highest rates came from India, Indonesia and the Philippines, amounting to over 70% of respondents, who stated that they prefer cash over other payment options. Meantime, in Hong Kong and Singapore that figure was lower recorded at a level of 44% and 43%, respectively, while the lowest percentage was reported in China, where only 25% of people prefer cash payments.

The survey found that 24% of the polled used other conventional means of spending, including bank transfers, online banking and plastic cards. Just 12% of respondents acknowledged they had a habit of using digital wallets for payments with a negligible number of the surveyed citing contactless transactions as their daily payment habit.

And still, about 50% of the polled acknowledged they are familiar with digital wallets, 23% of respondents said they are aware of the essence of contactless payments on NFC-enabled cards and another 23% said they knew how contactless payments on mobile devices work. However, despite such a high level of awareness, involvement and usage remain low.

Some reasons cited in the report as the key factors for people to avoid using digital payments, included insufficient information existing for each of the digital payment options, which leads to vague ideas about the value of such electronic payments. This also includes difficulties in creating an account for a digital wallet. Besides, people fear of security and privacy risks associated with the digital wallets and electronic transactions.

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