Science & Technology

Popularity of real-time payments equals cash remittances in Southeast Asia

The shift in consumer demand and remittance expectations is a challenge for financial entities, banks and merchants

real-time payments

Popularity of real-time payments equals cash remittances in Southeast Asia. Source:

61% of consumers in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia prefer real-time payment methods in 2021. Similarly, 61% prefer using cash to make payments. 56% prefer digital wallets that require a card or cash top-up while 30% prefer credit cards.

The move has been dramatically expedited by the coronavirus pandemic. Consumers in Southeast Asia (30%) have now minimized the use of traditional remittance methods such as credit cards, cash and debit cards. 53% of consumers have reported an increase in the use of real-time payments compared to pre-pandemic times.

And with the rapid global technological advancements, consumers expect real-time and mobile-first experiences, despite payments often lagging. Real-time remittance systems enable merchants, consumers and financial entities to make all their transfers simultaneously. While cash is an instant payment method, real-time payments surpass this benefit through notifications, faster payment periods and consolidated reporting.

Consumers who use real-time payment methods also expect these benefits to extend across borders especially when shopping or travelling abroad. 54% of Southeast Asia travellers abroad expect to use real-time payments during their travel. 70% note the importance of using their preferred payment method when travelling. Among these, 26% expect a reduction of cash payments while on travel. 75% prioritize fraud prevention and payment safety while 67% prioritize interchange rates transparency.

Even with the rise of international eCommerce purchases in Southeast Asia, 23% are shopping more in other Southeast countries while 22% are shopping more outside Southeast Asia. 36% of shoppers who prefer international sellers prioritize the safety of personal and payment data. 25% prioritize the ability to use domestic remittance methods while 21% prioritize a wider range of remittance options.

We’ve reported that mobility-as-a-Service has a 370% growth rate projection by 2025.


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