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.