Three transaction trends highlighted for this year

Cashless payments, online shopping and revenge travel on the rise in the new ‘endemic world’, says Visa study

Cashless payments, online shopping and revenge travel are the three leading trends that will feature in the “endemic world”, according to a survey by Visa.

Thai consumers (89%) lead Southeast Asia in their intention to use cashless payment methods more often, followed by those in Vietnam (83%), Malaysia (78%), Indonesia (78%), and the Philippines (78%), the company’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study shows.

The study also found Thai consumers have the highest confidence in digital payments. Over four in five (86%) Thais perceived digital payments as safer than cash, followed by Vietnam (80%), the Philippines (79%), Indonesia (79%), and Malaysia (75%).

“During these past two years, we witnessed an acceleration in digital commerce as consumers seek out faster, safer and more convenient ways to pay,” said Serene Gay, Visa Group country manager for Southeast Asia. “As countries across the region open their borders, it is critical for businesses to adapt and embrace the move to digital to cater to these evolving consumer preferences.”

New shopping channels have also gained traction during the pandemic, driven by store closures and movement restrictions. Now, as more governments prepare to declare Covid-19 endemic and loosen most restrictions, trends that took root during the pandemic appear here to stay.

More than half (55%) of Southeast Asian consumers tried shopping online via apps or websites for the first time during the pandemic, a trend led by consumers in Indonesia (72%), Vietnam (66%) and Thailand (65%).

Over two in five (42%) shoppers also opted for phone orders from nearby stores for the first time, with Vietnam (57%), Thailand (54%) and the Philippines (45%) the most likely to shop in this way. Many consumers turned to social media channels to shop (40%), led by Vietnam (50%), Thailand (49%) and the Philippines (46%).

Revenge travel, described as pent-up demand to resume travelling freely, is projected for consumers across Southeast Asia. According to the study, almost half of Thai consumers (46%) are likely to travel overseas in the next year, followed by Singapore (41%) and the Philippines (38%).

“We hope these findings provide valuable insights to support Thai businesses in the transition towards an endemic period,” said Ms Gay. “Together with our strategic partners, we will continue to redefine the future of payments, making innovative payment experiences accessible to all.”