Thunes and Kapronasia explore Southeast Asia’s diverse payment culture

Thunes and Kapronasia explore Southeast Asia’s diverse payment culture

Thunes and Kapronasia, a strategic advisory and financial services consultancy, have issued a report, “From Cash to QR codes: Unpacking Southeast Asia’s Diverse Consumer Payments Culture,” examining the region’s world-leading payment landscape.

The report explores why payment digitisation has been on the rise in Southeast Asia (SEA). The reasons for this include the growth of eCommerce post-COVID and improvements to communications infrastructure and broadband. Additionally, SEA governments and central banks have implemented new policies to encourage electronic payments to stimulate their economies. As a result, a range of payment types such as digital wallets, Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL), Domestic QR real-time payments (RTP) and super apps have flourished in SEA, alongside more traditional modes of payment like cash and bank card usage.  The specific mix of payments differs on a country-level, depending on the level of economic development and banking penetration. Overall, the payment culture and technology are at the global forefront and rapidly being adopted by other emerging markets worldwide.

The analysis by Thunes and Kapronasia also covers important regional trends, including how:

  1. Cash retains a vital role in Point-of-Sale payments.
  2. eCommerce continues to drive digital wallet adoption.
  3. Two or three digital wallet players vie for local market dominance amid low consumer loyalty.
  4. Digital wallets offer micro-financial services to increase their utilisation.   
  5. Consumers in rural and urban areas adopt cashless payments for different reasons.

“Consumer payment culture in Southeast Asia has been evolving at an astonishing speed, outpacing the expectations of industry observers.

With maturing markets and infrastructure, fierce competition is steering significant shifts and a robust adoption of digital payments. The rising level of service paves the way to long-term positive changes in the region’s macroeconomics, offering substantial upside for companies looking to enter into this dynamic market.

Our report offers a fresh guide to understanding the state of the SEA payments, covering current consumer patterns and what’s driving these changes.”

Irina Chuchkina, Chief Marketing Officer

“The mosaic payment culture in Southeast Asia sets an example for many other markets worldwide. The digital landscape has been shaped by the availability of banking services, new consumer preferences and marketing efforts by digital wallet companies to drive cashless payments.”

Zennon Kapron, Founder and Director at Kapronasia

You can access the report here.

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