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Two-fold increase in digital wallet users in APAC: Survey

  • China, India & Singapore - region’s biggest adopters of digital wallets
  • 48.5% in APAC used their mobile phone for shopping in the past 3 months
  • Australians & New Zealanders least likely to shop online via their mobile phones

With m-commerce on the rise, digital wallets are also gaining acceptance in the APAC market slowly. A recent survey by MasterCard highlighted that one in five consumers in Asia Pacific (19.5 per cent) use digital wallets. This reflects a two-fold increase from two years ago (9.7 per cent).

Smartphone users in China (45.0 per cent), India (36.7 per cent) and Singapore (23.3 per cent) are the region’s biggest adopters of digital wallets. The results of the survey are based on interviews that took place between October and December 2015 with 8,500 people aged 18-64 across 14 markets in Asia Pacific.

While mobile banking apps (31.8 per cent) are still the most widely used among other new mobile technologies such as in-app shopping and mobile NFC payments, digital wallets have seen the fastest uptake over the last two years.

Rise of m-commerce
According to the survey findings, consumers continue to embrace mobile shopping with half in Asia Pacific having made a purchase using their smartphone in the three months. Unsurprisingly, the markets that have seen strong uptake of digital wallets are also where the majority of people are using their mobiles to shop. Three quarters of people in India and China are now shopping on smartphones.

Overall, close to half of respondents (48.5 per cent) across the region have made a purchase using their smartphone in the past three months, led by those in India (76.4 per cent), China (76.1 per cent), South Korea (62.0 per cent) and Thailand (61.1 per cent).

India also tops the region in growth rates, with the number of people shopping on smartphones rising by 29.3 per cent from two years ago, followed by Vietnam (17.7 per cent) and Singapore (17.1 per cent).

Australians (23.7 per cent) and New Zealanders (16.2 per cent) are the least likely to shop online via their mobile phones.

Raj Dhamodharan, Group Head, Digital Payments, Asia Pacific, MasterCard commented, “New forms of mobile payment technology, such as MasterCard’s digital wallet MasterPass, are making transactions easier and safer, online, in-app and in-store. As more and more merchant apps provide shopping and services, consumers need a digital wallet that provides the best balance between security and convenience. We are already seeing that demand in many markets in Asia Pacific from India to Singapore to Australia. In Singapore for example consumers are using their MasterPass wallet to pay their bills and book taxis. In each of these cases we worked with merchants to enable safe and simple in app payments using MasterPass.”

More than half of the respondents across Asia Pacific (53.9 per cent) cited convenience as the key driver for shopping on their smartphone. Other motivating factors include the ability to shop on-the-go (42.9 per cent) and the growing availability of apps that make it easy to shop online (41.4 per cent).

Clothing and accessories (35 per cent), personal care and beauty products (20.9 per cent) and movie tickets (20.4 per cent) are the top mobile shopping purchases amongst Asia Pacific consumers. Close to half of consumers in China (46.4 per cent), India (42.5 per cent) and Korea (42.1 per cent) shop for clothing and accessories on their smartphone.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.