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Digital habits rising in Southeast Asia

Covid-19 has driven momentum toward the digital economy in Southeast Asia by necessitating the rapid adoption of e-commerce, home deliveries, and digital and contactless payments, according to the latest Impact Studies by a leading Financial Services company.

Even as countries in the region start to ease restrictions and prepare for a “new normal,” the report indicates that some of these trends and habits formed in response to the coronavirus pandemic are expected to remain for the long term.

Gathering input from consumers across 10 markets in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, the report examines the effects of extraordinary events on attitudes and behaviours among consumers and business professionals.

The recent results indicate a rise in online shopping in the region, with 40 percent or more of surveyed consumers in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand reporting they relied more on home delivery services in April than in March.

Meanwhile, nearly half of the consumers surveyed in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand reported an increase in their online shopping during the same period.

Alongside these changes in purchasing habits was a region-wide shift in payment methods, with the majority of consumers in all Southeast Asia markets surveyed reporting a significant decrease in cash usage — 67 percent in Singapore, 64 percent in Malaysia and the Philippines, and 59 percent in Thailand — since the beginning of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, various contactless payment methods saw their usage increase. In Singapore, 31 percent of respondents reported more use of contactless credit cards to pay, while mobile and digital wallets saw the greatest uptick in use among all contactless payments’ methods in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

With regard to consumer sentiment in the region, up to 83 percent of Filipinos remain cautious about Covid-19 infection, while the figures are 70 percent in Malaysia, 55 percent in Singapore and 41 percent in Thailand, and there are broad concerns held across the region about how the pandemic is affecting household finances.

The uncertainty has also led to consumers across the region holding off on making big-ticket purchases — 80 percent in the Philippines, 75 percent in Malaysia, 74 percent in Thailand and 65 percent in Singapore — all higher than the APAC average of 59 percent.

While concerns about the pandemic continue, there is great confidence among consumers in how the situation is being managed in their respective countries.

For instance, in Singapore, 88 percent and 68 percent of respondents, respectively, felt positive or neutral about how the government and banks are helping them through the crisis. This confidence has led to 20 percent of respondents indicating they believe they would increase their level of investment over the next few months.

The Division President, Southeast Asia Emerging Markets of the company stated that Covid-19 has impacted everyone and every country in some way or another.

Many consumers and businesses have been quick to adapt to the digital world and cashless payments in order to stay safe and maintain a sense of normalcy in these extraordinary and uncertain times.

Even as organizations and markets prepare for recovery, consumer concerns over their safety and well-being would be at the forefront of any strategy — and this is evident in the way that consumers in Southeast Asia are now shopping and transacting.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com