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Consumers in Asia-Pacific are shifting away from traditional avenues and rapidly embracing the use of alternative digital payment methods at POS

Amid the dynamic intersection of consumer trends and technology, the newly released “Asia-Pacific POS Payment Methods 2023” report from yStats.com, a Hamburg-based market intelligence company, illuminates the evolving patterns of payment behavior in the region. The pervasive embrace of digital platforms is driving a diverse spectrum of purchasing approaches, catalyzing substantial transformations in the conventional point-of-sale (POS) landscape.

The Asia-Pacific region is leading the way in digital payment utilization at POS

Shoppers across the Asia-Pacific region have rapidly embraced the digital revolution in payment methods, showcasing a significant shift away from traditional avenues. Recent findings cited in the yStats.com report, “Asia-Pacific POS Payment Methods 2023” reveal that the Asia-Pacific region has emerged as a frontrunner in utilizing digital wallets for point-of-sale (POS) transactions, surpassing global counterparts in this transformative trend. Consumers in the region are driving a diverse array of payment methods, showcasing a growing preference for alternative options at checkout. This eclectic mix includes debit and credit cards, account-to-account transfers, QR code payments, mobile wallets, “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) services, and innovative POS financing offered by banks, fintechs, and merchants.

Notably, the prevalence of cash payments at POS continues to see notable growth, particularly in countries such as Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Among these nations, Thailand stands out with the highest proportion of cash payments at POS, accounting for 56% of transactions in 2022, closely followed by Japan and Vietnam.

Countries in Asia-Pacific are witnessing a surge in QR code payments, mobile wallets, and BNPL services

In line with shifting consumer preferences, the adoption of QR code payments, mobile wallets, and BNPL services at POS is on the rise throughout the Asia-Pacific region. This trend is mirrored by an increasing number of merchants and businesses accommodating digital and contactless payments for in-store purchases. Key players in this landscape include Singapore’s Grab and Indonesia’s GoTo, which have become dominant forces in enabling seamless contactless payments for various services, ranging from ride-sharing to food delivery.

Delving into specific markets, Japan’s payment landscape shows interesting dynamics. According to a March 2023 survey, 49% of respondents indicated no change in their frequency of cash usage compared to a year ago, while 44% noted a decline in cash usage.

Meanwhile, in the world’s largest consumer market, China, the trajectory of digital payments is poised for extraordinary growth. The third-party integrated payment transaction value, encompassing mobile payments and bank card transactions, is projected to surge to over EUR 120 trillion by 2026. In a revealing statistic, over three-quarters of surveyed mobile phone users in China attested to utilizing mobile payments daily. Leading this surge are renowned platforms such as WeChat and Alipay, which have become the go-to choices for offline transactions in the country.