Karachi, Pakistan,15 September 2021: Pakistani consumers are increasingly stepping away from cash and putting their trust in digital payments in both in-store and online environments during the pandemic, according to the 2021 Stay Secure survey launched today by Visa.
Cash is unlikely to return to its previous high level of use
According to the study, the use of cash in Pakistan continues to decline. While eCommerce and contactless payments have increased in popularity and use since the start of the pandemic, paying by Cash on Delivery (COD) has declined (28%). The use of digital payments (contactless cards + mobile wallets + QR) for payment online or on delivery has increased by more than half (53%) since the start of the pandemic. Consumer feedback reinforces the belief that there is no reversal of this trend, with 20% of consumers saying they are less likely to use COD and 35% more likely to use contactless payment methods in the future.
Trust is driving consumer preference in contactless and digital payments, but some concerns remain
Nearly two thirds of the consumers surveyed (58%) have high levels of confidence in digital payments (contactless, mobile wallets and QR Payments) for shopping in-store and payment on delivery, an increase since the start of the pandemic. Top reasons consumers gave for their trust in contactless include convenience (52%), innovative way to pay (48%), wide acceptance (47%), speed (41%), and avoiding human touch (38%).
Knowledge of the technology that protects digital payments is a driver of consumer trust. Among consumers who trust contactless payments, over a third (36%) said their knowledge and understanding of how contactless payments are protected by security features such as tokenization and that they are as secure as EMV chip card transactions help them feel confident about the payment technology. Among those who do not have adequate levels of knowledge of the technology, more than half (53%) said knowing how tokenization works would help build their confidence in digital payments and resolve lagging doubts about the safety of digital payments. For example, close to a third fear misuse of lost or stolen contactless cards due to a lack of understanding of how the technology works. These findings reinforce the importance of continual education on safe digital payment practices among consumers to maintain their trust.
Neil Fernandes, Visa's Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa, commented, "As our survey results indicate, Pakistani consumers have fully embraced digital payments in the COVID-19 era but that does not come without risks. As consumers shift online, they need to stay vigilant as fraudsters have sought opportunities to exploit these changes in how people pay for goods and services. This is why constant consumer education is so much more important than ever before, and as an industry we cannot afford to let our guard down. Our ongoing Stay Secure campaign is part of our effort in bringing together all participants in the payments ecosystem to work together to advance efforts to educate consumers on how to stay vigilant, identify potential fraud, and what actions they should take if they are affected."
The survey corresponds with the launch of Visa's third annual "Stay Secure" social media campaign for Pakistan on Facebook (@VisaMiddleEast). The campaign reinforces safe digital payment practices and reminds consumers on how they can protect personal data even as they enjoy the benefits and convenience of eCommerce and contactless payments. The Pakistan Stay Secure webpage also includes fraud prevention tips for consumers and information on security features of digital payments.