Visa study uncovers untapped opportunity for smartphone payments in Asia-Pacific

November 01, 2020 | 10:07
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As consumers and businesses across the Asia-Pacific increasingly turn to digital payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, Visa has accelerated the availability of tap to phone solutions in Vietnam in order to bring more micro and small businesses into the digital economy. Tap to phone enables sellers to accept Visa contactless payments directly on their own Android NFC-enabled smartphones, without the need for a separate payment acceptance terminal.
visa study uncovers untapped opportunity for smartphone payments in asia pacific
The latest survey by Visa showed that mobile and other forms of cashless payment have a tremendous market in Vietnam

New research from Visa found that the majority (55 per cent) of Asia-Pacific consumers would likely use tap to phone payments, despite solutions not yet being widely available in the region. Meanwhile, Vietnam has seen a surge of mobile wallet and payment app usage in recent years, with over 85 per cent of Vietnamese consumers owning at least one mobile wallet or payment app, and over 42 per cent using mobile contactless payments.

“With 129.5 million mobile phone subscriptions and around half of them using 3G and 4G, Vietnam is particularly well-adapted to the use of tap to phone payments, and has already leapfrogged many developed economies when it comes to mobile payments,” said Dang Tuyet Dung, country manager for Visa Vietnam and Laos. “The country’s high mobile phone penetration rate indicates the consumer population’s readiness for digital payment functions to be made available on mobile. 84 per cent of Vietnamese consumers said they felt safe while making mobile payments, a reflection of the ability of mobile payments to increase national confidence in digital payments on the whole.”

visa study uncovers untapped opportunity for smartphone payments in asia pacific
Tap to Phone offers fast and royally convenient payment

Ease, convenience, and not needing to use cash appeal to consumers

In addition to simplifying point-of-sale infrastructure for businesses, tap to phone payments bring benefits to consumers. Of the APAC consumers surveyed, ease of use was rated as the top reason that would encourage them to try tap to phone (52 per cent). This was followed by saving time (51 per cent), and eliminating the need to carry cash (50 per cent).

43 per cent of consumers rated security as a factor that would encourage their adoption of tap to phone payments. However, Visa believes there is a need for the industry to work together to educate consumers about security features. Losing personal or financial information were named as the top concerns around using tap to phone. Tap to phone solutions bring multiple layers of security on both the buyer and seller side, to ensure that Visa’s high standards for secure payments are met. Each solution undergoes an intensive certification process, including a security assessment by an accredited expert security lab. These solutions are also supported by an industry standard that has been developed and published by the PCI Security Standards Council.

visa study uncovers untapped opportunity for smartphone payments in asia pacific
Most Vietnamese users value the convenience of mobile payment technologies

Convenience stores, restaurants and food courts popular settings for tap to phone

Visa’s research also looked at where consumers would be most likely to pay via tap to phone. Convenience stores were cited by 59 per cent of survey participants, reflecting the desire for quick, easy transactions. Over half (56 per cent) said they would want to be able to pay at a restaurant while seated at the table. Food courts, street stalls, and kiosks were the third most popular venue with 52 per cent. Similar surveys conducted in Vietnam revealed that 79 per cent of consumers currently prefer to pay with card payments and mobile apps instead of cash, while 43 per cent of respondents said they had been ordering food online more often through the pandemic.

“For micro and small businesses, tap to phone is a safe and cost-effective way to accept Visa and enjoy the benefits of digital commerce,” added Dung. “This is particularly relevant in light of COVID-19, which has made limiting physical contract a priority among consumers. With 71 per cent of those who have a mobile wallet or payment app claiming to use it at least once a week, consumer demand for modernised payment and service methods are creating new opportunities for businesses, and accelerating tap to phone is one of a number of solutions that will serve to drive Vietnam’s digital payments landscape into the 21st century.”

Visa is working with and has certified nine technology providers and is partnering with many acquirers and fintech firms to bring solutions to market across the region. Visa and its partners have already launched tap to phone solutions in Malaysia and India, with more Asia-Pacific markets to follow in the coming months.

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