Mastercard: Digital Economy Rising in Southeast Asia During COVID- 19

On the brighter side of things, Southeast Asia countries have accelerated shifting to ecommerce and contactless payments. Rising digital habits dominate the new normal’s methods of transaction. A Mastercard study shows that during the pandemic, Southeast Asia citizens from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand have turned rapidly to ecommerce. This adoption of digital means may have risen sharply during this time for Southeast Asia, but the report says these habits will stay for long. Even when restrictions completely ease out.

Businesses have had to find opportunities to remain operational while shops must be closed down. This rise was seen effectively in the increase of traffic for online shopping and contactless payments. The report examines input from consumers across 10 markets in the Asia Pacific region.

Results of the Mastercard Southeast Asia study show that 40% of consumers from Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand used more home delivery services in April than in March. Similarly, 50% of consumers from Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand reported an increase in online shopping during the same period.

At the same time, for the rise of ecommerce is the rise of e-wallets and contactless cards. In this way, payment methods for a sizeable amount of consumers have transitioned like so. 67% in Singapore, 64% in Malaysia and the Philippines, and 59& in Thailand reported lesser physical cash usage.

Also Read: DOTR, LTFRB Teams Up with PayMaya for PUV Cashless Payments

As such, it isn’t surprising that 31 percent of respondents in Singapore reported using contactless credit cards more. Without a specific, this shift was also seen in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand via mobile wallets.

Since most of these answers are largely due to the environment around these consumer, the study also shows the region’s sentiments. Up to 83 percent of Filipinos, 70% in Malaysia, 55% in Singapore, and 41% in Thailand remain cautious about COVID-19 infection. These figures show the household financial concerns of the region while riding out the pandemic.

These uncertainties present themselves in the amount of consumers holding off on big purchases. Compared to the 59% APAC average, 80% in the Philippines, 75% in Malaysia, 74% in Thailand, and 65% in Singapore won’t be buying big now.

Mastercard has been in the forefront of leading e-commerce and cashless transactions way before COVID-19 struck. The have been providing digital solutions by contactless terminals, mobile e-wallets, and online direct purchases. With the consumers shifting, the business landscape do as well. Mastercard offers a variety of solutions and services fit for any merchant size. Be it in e-commerce, payments, cybersecurity, fraud protection, data analytics or productivity.

Mastercard underscores their initiatives that may be of help during this transition period:

  • Increased contactless limits: This March, Mastercard increased contactless payment limits in 50 countries worldwide!
  • Digital disbursements: Mastercard has been teaming up players with private and public sectors to drive digital payments and financial inclusion to beneficiaries in need.
  • Contactless transport solutions: Mastercard is working with cities, including Singapore and Malaysia, to enable contactless payments for public transportation.
  • Ecommerce tools that empower businesses: Mastercard empowers business solutions such as Simplify Commerce, a secure platform for cashless payments.

Get to know Mastercard at their Official Website!

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