Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Filipino shoppers trying e-commerce for the first time increase amid the pandemic: report

Manila, Philippines – Filipino consumer behavior during the pandemic has shifted to frequent use of e-commerce platforms and cashless payments systems, a new report from financial services Visa shows.

In the Philippine-centric report, Visa noted that 52% of Filipinos shopped online through apps and websites for the first time during the pandemic and 43% of them made their first online purchase using social media channels.

Online shopping activity behavior also rose within the period of past year, as the report showed close to 9 in 10 Filipinos have increased their online shopping activities on websites or apps, whilst 7 in 10 are shopping more on social media channels. 

More than half of the consumers are also more inclined to shop from large online marketplaces (53%) and home-based businesses (61%). These new shopping preferences might turn into habits that last beyond the pandemic.

As part of the growing behavior of online purchases, food deliveries also rose, as more than 9 in 10 Filipinos used home delivery in the Philippines and 67% of them increased their use of home delivery services during the pandemic. This can be attributed to the existing quarantine and lockdown restrictions being implemented by the government in the country.

“The pandemic has transformed the way Filipinos shop and pay. Based on the latest highlights from our annual study, we see adoption of new consumer behaviors including more Filipinos using digital commerce platforms and helping to accelerate the usage of digital payments in the country. We see double digit growth for e-commerce transactions for purchases on marketplaces and digital goods,” said Dan Wolbert, country manager for the Philippines and Guam at Visa.

Wolbert also noted that some of the initial purchases made by first-time online consumers include food and groceries, bill payments as well as pharmaceutical products.

Using physical cash as payment has dwindled by the offset of the pandemic, as best compared to pre-pandemic consumers averaged to 7 out of 10 payments made in cash, compared to mid-pandemic consumers who only averaged to 5 out of 10 payments made in cash.

Filipinos cited using more contactless payments (73%), perceiving cash as unsafe because of the potential spread of infection (54%) and more places adopting digital payments (50%) as the top reasons for carrying less cash. In addition, Filipinos see bill payments (81%), grocery shopping (71%), and overseas travel (68%) as the top categories where they would likely go completely cashless in future.

The study also showed that contactless payments had 66% increase in usage amongst current users due to the pandemic. In addition, 88% of Filipinos who had not used contactless payments stated interest in using this payment method in the future. Top benefits perceived by Filipinos for usage of contactless cards include not having to carry cash with them (88%), feeling safe from infection (75%) and being an innovative payment method (68%).

“We believe that contactless payments will continue to grow as Filipinos appreciate the benefits of contactless payments, including perceiving this payment method to be more hygienic due to the absence of physical interaction at point-of-sale. Even though we’ve made progress in digital payments adoption, there remains huge opportunities for us to encourage more Filipinos to embrace digital payments as we look to expand digital payments acceptance across the country,” Dan added.

The study was conducted on 1,014 Filipinos aged 18-65 years of age across key cities in Manila, and in several provinces.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

EZ-Link, one of SG’s first contactless payments, endeavors in major rebranding

Singapore – EZ-Link, one of the first to offer prepaid card payment in Singapore, has taken a major rebranding, at the same time, unveils new app enhancements to go in tandem with its new brand identity.

The branding comes as EZ-Link marks its 18th year in the market, having started in 2002. The product now carries the new brand direction “For Life’s Little Wins” to underscore the brand’s mission of “eliminating hassle and enabling possibilities for customers in their ‘little’ daily financial routines.”

For the new direction, the company has adopted a new logo and refreshed both its corporate website and EZ-Link app.

Still sporting the same cool colors of blue and green, the new logo now takes a brighter palette with a cleaner font – breaking off of the old one’s edgy typeface.

EZ-Link’s old (above) and new logo (below)

The more striking and almost neon hue is now adapted to both its website and app. The brand’s app also used to display sharp-edged navigation boxes, whereas, in the new one, edges have been carved and assigned more pastel hues.

The company’s old (left) and new (right) website

The company said the new visual identity “reflects [its] renewed focus on digital transformation, while still maintaining key elements that have become strongly associated with the brand.”

EZ-Link’s old app

For the past 18 years, EZ-Link has been a trusted local brand and an integral part of many Singaporean’s daily lives. However, a lot has changed since we launched the first EZ-Link card almost two decades ago. Consumers’ lifestyles have evolved and the world is set on its path to a digital future

Nicholas Lee, CEO at EZ-Link

To kick off the brand refresh, EZ-Link has launched its enhanced mobile EZ-Link Wallet, which is now integrated with EZ-Link’s Rewards program. 

Introduced at the start of this year, the EZ-Link Wallet can be used at local merchants that accept e-payments via the Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR), Singapore’s unified QR label.

With the integration, users are offered a new avenue to earn and accumulate points that can be redeemed for benefits from over 200 EZ-Link Rewards merchants. Similar to EZ-Link card transactions, every S$0.10 spent on the EZ-Link Wallet will earn one point.

In addition, Android and iOS users can now top-up their EZ-Link cards anytime and on the go via the EZ-Link Wallet, and receive direct cashback and reward credits in their accounts when they spend with the e-wallet.

With the latest upgrade, EZ-Link said it aims to deliver a more seamless and rewarding experience for users’ transport and retail transactions. 

Lee said, “As we push forward in our digitalization journey, we must always put people at the heart of our innovation. This is in line with our new brand direction, which is rooted in the belief that our everyday life is lived in small moments that can be turned into little wins.”

In accordance with its branding move and to better differentiate its offerings, EZ-Link’s new and existing products will now be housed under three sub-brands: EZ-Link Rewards, EZ-Link Wallet, and former EZ-Pay, EZ-Link Motoring, which is the brand’s upcoming solution for electronic toll and parking payments.