The Digital Payment Landscape in Asia: Thailand, Japan, and Vietnam Struggle to Keep Up

The push towards a cashless society is happening globally, and Asia is leading the way. However, the region still faces challenges in fully embracing digital payments, with Thailand, Japan, and Vietnam lagging behind other countries in the adoption of cashless transactions.

According to a recent report, in 2022, Thailand had the highest share of cash in in-person transactions, accounting for 56%, followed by Japan at 51% and Vietnam at 47%. Digital wallet usage in these countries was also relatively low, with Thailand leading the way at just 23%.

Despite these challenges, the Asia-Pacific region is projected to lead in the use of digital wallets for in-person transactions by 2026, accounting for 59% of the total $36.7 trillion regional point-of-sales market. This is higher than other regions such as the Middle East and Africa, Europe, and North America.

Japan, however, is expected to have the highest cash rate in the region by 2026 at 37%. This highlights the need for countries to continue to embrace digital payments and for businesses to offer more options for cashless transactions, especially as other economies in the region more quickly adopt digital wallets through superapps.

The share of digital wallets used in online transactions is also expected to expand in the region, reaching 73% by 2026. This presents a significant opportunity for businesses to adapt to the changing landscape and cater to the growing demand for digital payments.

As the world becomes more digital, the need for cashless transactions is only going to increase. While some countries in Asia are lagging behind in the adoption of digital payments, there is still significant growth potential in the region. It is up to businesses and governments to continue to work together to make digital payments more accessible, secure, and convenient for consumers.


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