Visa anticipates a solid jump in 2016
A recent survey undertaken by Visa International and entitled ‘Visa Consumer Payments Attitudes Study 2015’, which covered the Asia-Pacific region, made some interesting discoveries when it comes to evolving attitudes to the use of credit and debit cards.
On the back of the survey, and primarily because of stimulus measures introduced by the military-installed government to boost domestic consumption, Visa International (Thailand) expects to see a 12 percent surge in spending during this fiscal year.
There is a growing demand for online shopping and this has stimulated growth in the supply of credit cards. In recent years spending through credit cards issued by Visa in Thailand has increased quite significantly.
Fiscal 2014 (which ended on 30 September) saw Visa card growth reach 9.6 percent, while the 2015 fiscal year saw this figure jump to 11.5 percent. So a 12 percent growth expectation for fiscal 2016 is not unrealistic.
In 2015 the number of transactions increased by 7.7 percent, compared with a three percent contraction in 2014. Outbound spending jumped by a hefty 16.3 percent last fiscal year, compared to a solid increase of 7.2 percent in fiscal 2014.
The Visa study which covered the Asia-Pacific region, specifically surveyed 3,000 consumers in six of the 11 Southeast Asian nations, including 500 in Thailand. It found, across the whole survey, that 52 percent of consumers preferred to make payments by credit card rather than cash.
Notably, Thai consumers are now carrying less cash than they used to, indicating a widening acceptance of doing business online via e-commerce and making e-payments, as well as employing their credit cards for transactions.
The survey showed Thais carried around 2,094 baht in their wallets in fiscal 2015 compared to 2,462 baht the year before.
According to the survey, 42 percent of Thais said they expected to use their mobile devices as shopping tools in 2016. On average, Thais have two payment cards per person, excluding ATM cards.
Sixty-six percent of Thais said they conducted online shopping once a month last year, a small increase on the 64 percent tallied the previous year. The average online shopping session now lasts 46 minutes.
Some 40 percent of Thais said they enjoyed shopping online primarily because of the convenience of having goods delivered directly to them while 37 percent said they appreciated the overall convenience of doing business via the internet. Only 15 percent considered they were getting a better price than a physical retail outlet and eight percent considered shopping online gave them a wider choice in products.
At present, there are 45 million credit and debit cards embossed with the Visa logo extant in Thailand.