The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the march towards digital payments around the world. People are adopting increasingly digital lifestyles, with innovations such as contactless cards and mobile payments increasingly accepted by merchants everywhere. In Southeast Asia, consumer attitudes have shifted strongly towards cashless payments and e-commerce, and especially so since the beginning of the pandemic. According to Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2021, 54% of Southeast Asian consumers now prefer digital payments over cash.
Elsewhere, Swiss consumers are increasingly shifting towards cashless payments. Switzerland is known for its 1000 franc banknote, worth USD 1087. With the Euro area issuing no banknote larger than 500 euro (USD 597), Switzerland’s widespread use of a bill with such a large denomination marks it as a straggler in the adoption of digital payments in the region. According to a recent Swiss National Bank survey, the proportions of payments made with cash has dropped “significantly” in recent years, and that while paying with cash was still preferred by most, the proportion of transactions using cards or mobile applications has markedly increased.
With widespread investment in and consumer pressure for cashless options, digital payments are likely to continue to grow in popularity globally for the foreseeable future.
For more on this topic, see this article from Reuters:
“Around 43% of one-off payments in supermarkets and restaurants are made with cash, the most popular payment instrument, the survey said.
But cash has lost some of its appeal, with the figure dropping from the 70% level in the last SNB survey in 2017.
‘Non-cash payment methods have…come to be considered, at least in part, as easier to use than cash,’ said the study, which was carried out between August and November 2020.
‘Compared with 2017…its usage share has dropped significantly. The coronavirus pandemic has given additional impetus to this shift from cash to non-cash payment methods.’
Increased online shopping has boosted the popularity of cards and apps during the pandemic, as has the tendency to buy more at supermarkets during lockdowns.”
Overview by Laura Handly, Research Analyst at Mercator Advisory Group