CREDIT CARD usage during the pandemic tended to focus on essential goods, with the lack of mobility also leading cardholders to make more remote bill payments, according to card company Visa.
Such changes in payment behavior helped drive a 27.4% increase in payment volume across the entire industry in July, according to data from the central bank.
“Top categories that Filipino Visa cardholders were purchasing include groceries, drugs and pharmaceutical goods and making bill payments for telecommunication services,” Visa Country Manager for the Philippines and Guam Dan Wolbert said in an e-mail.
Mr. Wolbert added that one out of four active Visa cardholders that did not shop online or make online payments last year did so in the first half of 2020.
Visa is seeing a similar shift in card usage among small-business owners, who are “making e-commerce purchases for business-related services,” Mr. Wolbert said.
Mr. Wolbert said cardholders are likely to continue with such behavioral shifts after discovering the convenience of card use.
In July, credit card debt grew 27.4% year on year to P409.07 million, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Growth in June was 28.4%.
Mr. Wolbert said digital channels will remain a preferred 1while shopping.
He cited an internal Visa study indicating that 70% of cardholders in the Philippines intend to continue with cashless payments after COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019).
The central bank has set a 2023 target of 50% cashless payments for all transactions. — Luz Wendy T. Noble