The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the adoption of digital solutions for many Filipinos, having a profound impact on how they live, work, and pay. A recent online survey conducted by PayPal revealed that 87% of Filipinos who were polled have increased their usage of digital payments during the pandemic, and 9 in 10 preferred to digital payments over cash during this time.
“While cash remains the most dominant method of payment in the Philippines, circumstances brought on by the pandemic have given digital payments a more prominent role in the everyday lives of Filipinos,” said Rajkishore Agrawal, Senior Director and Head of Sales, SEA, PayPal.
The 2020 PayPal Consumer Insights Survey was conducted with 500 Filipinos via online survey with the objective of identifying the impact of COVID-19 on local payment behaviors.
In a recent study by the World Bank and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), it was suggested that the use of digital technologies such as digital payments, e-commerce, telemedicine, and online education has helped the Philippine economy cope with social-distancing measures, business continuity, and public service delivery.
“As the pandemic continues, health and safety need to be a fundamental part of our everyday decisions,” said Agrawal. “But when you consider continued usage of digital payments, convenience and security also play vital roles.”
Almost half (49%) of the respondents identified security as the topmost consideration when choosing which digital payment platforms to use and an overwhelming 99% said they plan to keep using digital payments even after community quarantines are eased. According to PayPal, the majority of Filipino respondents used digital payments to pay for bills (44%) and groceries (36%).
Rosy appetite for cross-border shopping
“Usage of digital payments opens the door to global e-commerce markets for Filipino shoppers,” said Agrawal. “Once they experience the benefits—mainly convenience and security, it opens a wide array of options for them in terms of shopping choices.”
From May to August this year, 61% of the survey participants said they purchased from international merchants with the most common purchases being for Fashion (41%) and Technology (34%). The survey also found that 7 in 10 plan to continue purchasing from international merchants in the coming three months.
When it comes to payment platforms for cross border purchases, 77% of respondents cited PayPal as their most preferred method. The digital payments platform has an estimated 361 million account holders in over 200 markets across the world. It is also available for different currencies, giving users unparalleled flexibility to make international payments.
“At PayPal, we believe access to financial services creates opportunities for everyone,” said Agrawal. “Now more than ever, individuals and businesses need to stay connected to the online economy as the pandemic leads to a digital shift in our way of life. For PayPal, this means doubling down on our commitment to make payment experiences as frictionless and secure as possible.”