Four out of every five Thais tried going cashless in 2018 as confidence in digital payments grew, a dramatic jump from 50 per cent the previous year. The 2018 “Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes” study tracked payment habits and attitudes and explored emerging topics related to payments among 4,000 consumers in eight Southeast Asian countries, including 500 in Thailand, the Nation reported.
The study showed that Thai consumers generally prefer digital payment methods such as cards, mobile apps and QR payments. Suripong Tantiyanon, country manager for Visa Thailand, credited the shift in preference and the rise in confidence to industry players and the government, which have actively promoted e-payments as part of the national agenda.
“We also believe the increased preference for digital payments can be attributed to the proliferation of payment forms and acceptance points,” said Suripong. Consumers can make payments with a wider range of connected devices and payment applications on phones and wearable devices. “QR codes meanwhile offer merchants in traditionally cash-based sectors a fast, cost-effective and secure digital-payment solution,” he said. The study found that two in five Thais carried less cash than they did two years ago, compared to 26 per cent in 2017. They said they did so for security reasons, because they were making more payments digitally and because using cash was often a bother.
The study also showed that, of those who tried going cashless, more than half could manage a day without cash and 45 per cent could last without cash for more than three days. In terms of future expectation, more Thais are confident about the country becoming a cashless society. Nearly one in three is confident that this will be a cashless society within three years, compared to 11 per cent who said so in 2017. “The findings are encouraging,” Suripong said. “We believe we’re on the right track and it’s important to help more consumers and merchants embrace the benefits of digital payments. At the same time, we’re committed to collaborating with all stakeholders in the payment industry as we continue transforming Thailand into a cashless society.”
Source: The Nation