The way people shop is changing and how they pay is evolving. Consumers in Asia Pacific are rapidly adopting new payment habits with restrictions imposed on daily lives because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a Mastercard study.
Moving away from cash, they are going digital with purchases of everything from groceries to movies in a shift that looks set to become a permanent habit even after the pandemic passes.
E-commerce is also witnessing a surge as consumers increasingly shop online, according to an ongoing study by Mastercard in multiple markets around the world that analyses the impact of current and future consumer behavior.
"Our shift to digital commerce is here to stay as people embrace the benefits of safety, security and convenience. Consumers now want on-demand products and services – whether it is food delivery, groceries, fitness courses, telemedicine, conferencing, learning or entertainment. This demand and these expectations will continue to drive e-commerce long after Covid-19 subsides," said Sandeep Malhotra, executive vice-president (Products & Innovation), Asia Pacific, Mastercard.
"As communities and economies emerge from the pandemic, the new consumer mindset sends a clear signal to merchants of all shapes and sizes that online shopping and touch-free transactions are essential to building the business and ensuring customer loyalty now and in the future," Sandeep added.
With people concerned about safety and many stores shut during the Covid-19 outbreak, digital commerce revenues grew 20 percent globally in the first quarter of 2020 from a year earlier, according to the Salesforce Shopping Index.
As people make digital by default a lasting habit, the Mastercard study highlights the need for businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, to move into e-commerce and have an online presence during and after the pandemic.
E-commerce is on the rise in Asia Pacific with 30 percent of people in Australia, 49 percent in India, 55 percent in China and 34 percent in Japan planning to make more purchases online.
At the same time, consumers think less in-store shopping is here to stay – 38 percent in Australia, 68 percent in India, 57 percent in China and 40 percent in Japan.
The shift is underway globally as almost six in 10 consumers say the move to digital payments is likely to be permanent and nearly half plan to use cash less even after the pandemic passes.
In Asia Pacific, 46 percent of consumers say they plan to use cash less often, including 52 percent in Australia, 49 percent in India, 43 percent in China and 41 percent in Japan. A large majority – 71 percent in Australia, 77 percent in India, 73 percent in China and 62 percent in Japan – believe the shift to contactless payments is here to stay.
The global survey underscores the movement to contactless after a Mastercard study in April showed that 79 percent of people worldwide and 91 percent in Asia Pacific were using tap-and-go payments.
Citing safety and cleanliness, 74 percent of people globally and 75 percent in Asia Pacific said they would keep using contactless after the pandemic is over.
Mastercard proprietary study was conducted between April 27 and May 17 with a total of 6,750 adults interviewed across 15 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Russia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.