Real-time payments now as popular as cash in Southeast Asia, ACI Worldwide reveals

Thursday 8 July 2021 15:18 CET | News

ACI Worldwide has revealed that real-time payments are now as popular as cash as a payment method for consumers in Southeast Asia.

According to the press release, the research was conducted by ACI Worldwide and YouGov and revealed that hree out of five consumers (61%) in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore prefer real-time payments as a favored way to pay in 2021, level with cash (61%), and higher than other payment categories, including digital wallets requiring cash or card top-ups (56%) and credit cards (30%).

This shift towards real-time payments has been dramatically accelerated by changing payment necessities and preferences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost a third (30%) of consumers in Southeast Asia have reduced usage of traditional payment methods such as cash, credit cards, and debit cards since the onset of COVID-19. 

As a result, over half (53%) are now using real-time payments more frequently than they were prior to the pandemic. Besides, due to rapid technological change, consumers now expect mobile-first and real-time experiences. While cash has always represented an 'immediate' mode of payment, the advent of real-time payment rails brings this concept into the digital age with faster settlement periods, notifications, and consolidated reporting.

The ACI Worldwide and YouGov study also reveals how consumers across Southeast Asia expect the benefits of using real-time payments in their domestic markets to extend across borders once they begin to travel internationally again, as well as when they shop cross-border. For future international travel, consumers have elevated expectations for the transparency, safety, and convenience of their payments when compared to their travel experiences pre-COVID-19, accordingly:

  • More than half (54%) of consumers in Southeast Asia who have travelled internationally in the past expect their usage of real-time payments to increase when they next travel.

  • 70 percent say the ability to use their preferred payment methods while travelling will be more important now. As a result, a quarter (26%) expect their usage of traditional payment methods such as cash to reduce when they next travel.

  • Three quarters (75%) say payment safety and fraud prevention are more important now, while more than two thirds (67%) say transparency of interchange rates is now of greater importance.

While the number of consumers in Southeast Asia who are making international ecommerce purchases has increased over 2020, consumers are looking for further guarantees about payments to encourage them to do so more in the future:

  • Almost a quarter (23%) of consumers are shopping more at merchants based in other Southeast Asia countries since the start of the pandemic, while a similar number (22%) are shopping more in stores outside of Southeast Asia.

  • The most popular factors that encourage these shoppers to purchase products and services more regularly from international sellers are the following: reassurance that payment and personal data are safely transmitted, secured, and stored by international sellers (36%); the ability to pay with preferred domestic payment method (25%); having a wider range of payment options than is available at present (21%).

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Keywords: ACI Worldwide, research, study, real-time payments, online payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: South East Asia
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce