Filipinos’ Cashless Payments Increasing—Visa Study

A man browses through shoe racks in a store in the Philippines.
For Filipinos, going cashless means being safe, having convenience, and being able to track their financial records easily. Photo credit: ADB

This story is published in collaboration with Visa and was first posted on 29 March 2022.

Cashless payments are on the rise in the Philippines with 60% of Filipinos carrying less cash in their wallets and 84% having tried going cashless in 2021, according to Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study.

Dan Wolbert, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam said, “While cash is still commonplace in the Philippines the preference for cashless payments is clearly gaining momentum. Our study showed more Filipinos are confident to get by without cash and for longer periods of time—with more than half feeling confident to get by for a week or longer, as cashless payment options grow.”

Cashless means being safe

For Filipinos, going cashless means being safe, having convenience, and being able to track their financial records easily. Spend categories leading this transition to cashless in the country are bill payments, supermarket expenditure, and retail shopping.

“Filipinos believe COVID-19 has accelerated the country’s transition to a cashless society by at least 3 years. Now, seven out of 10 consumers anticipate that the Philippines can become fully cashless within the next 7 to 10 years,” explained Dan.

Cashless payment usage in the country is increasing across a variety of payment options, where Filipinos’ have a preference to use mobile wallets (64%), card payments online (52%), card payments at physical merchants (44%), and QR payments (31%). This shows that the pandemic has also driven the uptake of cashless payment methods, especially mobile wallets and card payments online, with a large number of first-time users due to the pandemic.

Contactless payments, on the other hand, are seen as an emerging payment method in which consumers showed high interest. Eighty-three percent of Filipinos are aware of contactless payments while 69% have made contactless payments in 2021 (up from 60% in 2020).

Pandemic impact

In 2021, the pandemic continued to be the main driver of online shopping growth, especially digital purchases made via e-commerce apps. More consumers turned to online shopping and started using apps or websites to shop for the first time.

Movement restriction orders in the past year also led to an increase in in-home spends that included home office products, groceries, personal care items, and content platform subscriptions. Home delivery also remained high, with 1/3 of consumers being first-time users.

The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study was conducted from August to September 2021 through an online questionnaire to 1,000 Filipinos across Manila, Cebu, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan to assess consumer payment trends and interest in using new payment solutions.