Cybersecurity awareness is still not as high as it should be today. While businesses continue to advocate the importance of cybersecurity to its employees, the awareness normally wears off when it comes to doing non work tasks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in digital payments around the world. While online banking has been dominant, more users are now preferring to transact over mobile banking or e-wallets.

According to findings from Kaspersky’s “Mapping a secure path for the future of digital payments in APAC”, 90% of the Asian respondents have used mobile payment apps at least once in the past 12 months, confirming the fintech boom in the region. Nearly 2 in 10 of them only started using these platforms after the pandemic. In fact, the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is the largest contributor to global payments revenue, with analysts expecting the sector to exceed US$ 1 trillion revenue by 2022 or 2023.

The research studied local users’ interactions with the available online payments in the region and examined their attitudes towards them, which hold the key to understanding the factors that will further drive or stem the adoption of this technology.

For Chris Connell, Managing Director for the Asia Pacific at Kaspersky, the figures clearly indicate how consumer behaviors have changed. Tech-assisted shopping has created new opportunities for retailers while mobile devices influence shopping behaviors as well. The use of cash is no longer prioritize for hygiene reasons as well.  But with increasing digital payments, digital risks increase as well, and a lack of cybersecurity awareness is concerning.

“The surging demand for digital payments has transformed the way we transact both online and offline. Businesses are now digitalizing their operations to capture additional revenue through digital payments, while consumers are heavily reliant on it due to the ease and convenience it offers. It is clear that the demand for quick, efficient, and low-cost payment experiences will encourage further innovation in this space, and we are seeing that happening with the emergence of real-time payment rails,” commented Chris.

The Philippines logged the highest percentage of new e-cash adopters at 37%, followed by India (23%), Australia (15%), Vietnam (14%), Indonesia (13%), and Thailand (13%). The lowest number of first-time online payment users are China (5%), South Korea (9%), and Malaysia (9%).

China has been a notable leader in mobile payments in APAC. Even before the pandemic, its top local platforms, Alipay and WeChat Pay, have witnessed significant mass adoption and served as an example to follow for other Asian countries.

Adhering to social distancing was one of the reasons why digital payments are increasing despite some security concerns. However, for 29% of users, digital gateways are more secure now compared to the pre-COVID-19 era and the same percentage also appreciate the incentives and rewards providers offer.

Source: Techwire Asia news