AROUND 70% of Filipinos that used digital payment channels during the lockdown will likely continue to do so, Visa, Inc. said, citing the results of a study.

Visa said in a statement Thursday that digital payments have picked up recently and continued use by most customers is expected after the lockdowns.

The result compares to the 75% average across Asia and the Pacific and the 68% global average.

Some 22% of Filipinos surveyed said they will return to their previous payment habits when the crisis is over while 8% said they are unsure.

According to the study, 42% shifted their preferred payment method from cash to credit cards, debit cards and mobile wallets. The regional average for such cashless channels was 61%, while the global average was 59%.

Some 44% of Filipinos expect their online purchases to increase, while 29% believe such purchases will “stay the same as the last month.” About 20% will revert to previous levels while 7% said they do not shop online.

“However, at the moment, consumers have yet to necessarily see the online shopping experience as more positive than bricks-and-mortar,” Visa said, noting that only 37% consider the online shopping as better than going to physical stores.

Dan Wolbert, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam, said that data showed one in six active Visa cardholders in the Philippines tried online transactions for the first time this year to buy essential goods such as groceries and medicine and pay for utilities and business-related expenses.

“We approached the study with the intention of gaining a timely, deeper and clearer understanding of how Filipino consumer behaviors are changing in the current environment. In this new normal, we’re seeing a shift — Filipinos are becoming more digital, and the COVID-19 situation has forced consumers to adopt this change in behavior,” Mr. Wolbert said.

Visa said the study was conducted across 40 markets, 11 in the Asia Pacific region. It also monitored Internet searches using artificial intelligence.

“The shift to e-commerce means that it is even more crucial that we work with our partners to streamline the online shopping experience for Filipinos. Currently, we are working with new partners, including SMEs who have onboarded e-commerce platforms to enable digital payments acceptance and help drive a seamless and secure online shopping experience for Filipino consumers,” Mr. Wolbert added. — Beatrice M. Laforga