From Cash to QR Codes - Unpacking Southeast Asia's Diverse Consumer Payments Culture

As a wave of digitisation swept over the consumer payment landscape in Southeast Asia, the pace of evolution has been so rapid that most of the payment data and coverage of fintech service providers from just two years ago is no longer valid.

Published: Nov 2023

Report Description

Case in point, digital wallets in the region have experienced a wave of consolidation that resulted in each market having two to three players capturing upwards of 90% of market share (in terms of transaction value) and mindshare of the local population as they became household names. Attempts to enable easier access to credit have emerged in the form of Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL), which took the region by storm and remains a controversial but highly impactful change.

Furthermore, in recent years, regulators across Southeast Asia have made strides towards a cashless society by developing roadmaps to transform and digitise the local payment and financial system. Bank Indonesia (BI) laid out its Payment Systems Blueprint in November 2019, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) launched its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap (DPTR) in October 2020. These efforts have led to the deployment of domestic real-time payment rails and the adoption of domestic QR code payments, drastically shifting consumer preferences away from cash.

The changes mentioned above are just a small snapshot of the shifting dynamics in the region. Therefore, the purpose of this report, “From Cash to QR Codes”, is to analyse the payment cultures in Asia, pinpointing key shifts in behaviour and identifying the drivers behind these changes. Understanding payment culture is vital. It has positive implications for businesses and industries - including ourselves at Thunes, as we build a global payments infrastructure that is inclusive and local. However, continued innovation and re-invention are impossible without deep consumer insights, which this report aims to provide.


From Cash to QR Codes - Unpacking Southeast Asia's Diverse Consumer Payments Culture Report Details

  • Number of Pages: 17
  • Number of Tables & Charts: 11

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Southeast Asia's evolving consumer payment landscape
  • Five things to know about consumer payment culture in Southeast Asia
  • The future of Southeast Asia's consumer payment culture
  • Conclusion