Hong Kong digital wallet take-up lags wider Asia

Hong Kong digital wallet take-up is poor compared to most other countries in Asia Pacific, a new survey shows.

Almost half of the consumers surveyed in China shop with digital wallets. Overall, the study shows that digital wallets are the fastest-growing payment technology in the region, with one in five of those surveyed using the technology.

MasterCard’s latest mobile shopping survey shows that only 11.2 per cent of consumers surveyed in Hong Kong used a digital wallet last year, up from 7 per cent the previous year, and 7.2 per cent in 2013.

However, the Hong Kong figures were more in line with other regions when it comes to using a smartphone for purchases – 42.9 per cent of respondents did so last year, compared to 38.2 per cent the previous year and 40 per cent in 2013.

Digital wallets are used by 19.5 per cent of respondents in Asia Pacific, a two-fold increase from two years ago (9.7 per cent), the study shows. Emerging markets are leading the way with 45 per cent of smartphone users surveyed in China, 36.7 per cent in India, and 23.3 per cent in Singapore. The results are based on interviews with 8500 people aged between 18 and 64 years across 14 markets in October and December.
While mobile banking apps (31.8 per cent) are still the most widely used, among new mobile technologies such as in-app shopping and mobile NFC payments, digital wallets have had the fastest uptake over the past two years.
Also, 48.5 per cent of respondents overall have used their smartphone for shopping in the three months before the survey. India tops the region at 76.4 per cent – up 29.3 per cent from two years ago – followed by China (76.1 per cent), South Korea (62 per cent) and Thailand (61.1 per cent). After India, growth has been most marked in Vietnam (up 17.7 per cent from two years ago) and Singapore (up 17.1 per cent).
“New forms of mobile payment technology, such as MasterCard’s digital wallet MasterPass, are making transactions easier and safer, online, in-app and in-store,” says MasterCard’s Asia Pacific group head for digital payments, Raj Dhamodharan.

“As more and more merchant apps provide shopping and services, consumers need a digital wallet that provides the best balance between security and convenience.”

For example, consumers in Singapore are using their MasterPass wallet to pay bills and book taxis.
Across Asia Pacific, 53.9 per cent of respondents cite convenience as the key driver for shopping on their smartphone. Other motivating factors include the ability to shop on the go (42.9 per cent) and the growing availability of apps that make it easy to shop online (41.4 per cent).
Clothing and accessories (35 per cent), personal care and beauty products (20.9 per cent) and movie tickets (20.4 per cent) are the top mobile purchases. In China, 64.6 per cent of respondents use their smartphones to buy clothing and accessories, followed by 42.5 per cent in India and 42.1 per cent in Korea.

Detailed figures

The percentage of respondents who have made a smartphone purchase…

Asia Pacific: 48.5 (2015), 45.6 (2014), 38.6 (2013)

China: 76.1, 70.1, 59.4
Hong Kong: 42.9, 38.2, 40
India: 76.4, 62.9, 47.1
Indonesia: 55.5, 54.9, 46.7
Japan: 31.3, 25.8, 22.9
Korea: 62, 53.8, 47.6
Malaysia: 45.5, 45.6, 31.5

Philippines: 40.9, 34, 32.8
Singapore: 48.5, 36.7, 31.4
Taiwan: 46.6, 62.6, 45.2
Thailand: 61.1, 58.8, 51.2
Vietnam: 51.7, 45.2, 34.9

 

The percentage of respondents who use digital wallets…
Asia Pacific: 19.5, 11.2, 9.7
China: 45, 28.5, 32
Hong Kong: 11.2, 7, 7.2
India: 36.7, 24.4, 13.6
Indonesia: 11.1, 15.6, 9.8
Japan: 7.7, 2.3, 2.8
Korea: 13.4, 9.8, 11.8
Malaysia: 11, 12.2, 6.2
Philippines: 17, 10.3, 10.8
Singapore: 23.3, 5.7, 4.4
Taiwan: 13, 13.8, 9.8
Thailand: 7.6, 6.8, 11.4
Vietnam: 15.9, 14, 11.8

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