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PH trails behind Asian neighbors in e-wallet adoption

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Commerce may be booming in the Philippines, but that hasn’t resulted in the adoption of electronic money and e-wallet among Filipino consumers.

According to the Southeast Asia E-Money Market Report by S&P Global Market Intelligence, Filipinos do not use e-wallets as much as their Asian neighbors. E-wallet refers to digital wallets in which you can top up digital currency for online transactions thru a prepaid monetary amount, usually of equal value.

On average, each adult in the Philippines only have 0.4 prepaid cards or e-wallet accounts. Adults in Thailand and Indonesia average at 1.5. A Singaporean adult is subscribed to an average of 10.4 prepaid cards.

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The report also made note of how e-wallets in the Philippines mostly function as extensions to other digital services such as ride-hailing (GrabPay) and telecommunications (GCash and PayMaya), instead of being dedicated, independent payment services such as PayPal and Square.

In addition, the Philippines recorded $28 billion in retail sales in 2019, but only 0.9 percent of that is e-commerce sales. At 32 percent, the country also has relatively fewer adults who are subscribed to traditional financial services such as banks.

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