USERS of digital payment channels rose to 84% in 2021 from 79% a year earlier, according to a study conducted by Visa, Inc.

Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study found that in the Philippines, 84% of respondents said they used cashless methods to carry out their transactions last year, Visa Country Manager for the Philippines and Guam Dan Wolbert said.

“It’s no longer just a card or an online credential, we’re seeing contactless, we’re seeing QR, we’re seeing other payment methods to become firmly established,” Mr. Wolbert said in a virtual briefing on Tuesday.

The survey found that in the Philippines, the preferred cashless channel was the mobile wallet (64%), followed by online card payments (52%), card payments at physical stores (44%), and QR-based payments (31%).

Visa said the pandemic has encouraged many users to try online payments for the first time.

“We’re encouraged by the continued adoption of these payment methods and expect that to accelerate as more and more cash usage declines,” he said.

Cash was still identified by 94% as their primary payment method last year, down from 96% in 2020.

“We’re working quite closely with all the stakeholders in the ecosystem, including the central bank, on the Digital Payments Roadmap, as well as many different areas focusing on expanding acceptance, financial literacy, consumer education to really drive and increase digital payments usage here in the Philippines,” Mr. Wolbert said.

In 2020, digital payments accounted for 20.1% of all transactions in the Philippines. By 2023, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is targeting a digital payments share of 50% en route to transforming the Philippines into a cash-lite economy. — Luz Wendy T. Noble