97% Of Asian Travellers Carry No Cash On Trips, Depend On Digital Payments: VISA Study

by Tejashee Kashyap
97% Of Asian Travellers Carry No Cash On Trips, Depend On Digital Payments: VISA Study

In an era dominated by technological advancements, how we travel has undergone a transformative revolution. One significant aspect of this transformation is the rise of cashless transactions. According to VISA’s most recent Global Travel Intentions (GTI) study, credit, debit, and prepaid cards are the most popular payment methods used by travellers in the Asia Pacific region. These findings highlight consumers’ increasing reliance on digital payment methods.

Travellers Going Digital For Payments

Digital Payment
image credits: Canva

The shift towards cashless transactions in travel can be attributed to the rapid development of digital payment systems. Following the pandemic, fewer visitors than ever before have brought cash on their travels. In 2023, only 31% of respondents reported doing so, down from 79% in 2020. Respondents list several factors that encourage the use of international cards, including favourable foreign exchange rates, widespread retailer acceptance, and travel security.

This year’s study, which polled over 15,000 travellers around Asia Pacific, found that there are a number of noteworthy trends and behaviours among them:

1. Top Travel Locations

Japan ranked highest among the countries respondents had visited this year, with 25% of respondents doing so. Australia (18%) and Singapore (12%), in a close second, were the next most popular destinations. Australia (16%), Japan (16%), and Mainland China (9%) are the leading destinations for international business leisure travel, sometimes known as “bleisure,” which refers to traveller combinations that combine leisure with business.

2. Increasing Travel Costs

Indians travelling
image credits: Canva

In 2023, travellers are spending $2,525 on average for each trip, a considerable increase from $1,708 in 2020. Apps and banking platforms often categorize spending, providing users with insights into their financial habits and helping them budget more effectively during their travels.

3. Travel-Related Motivations

The poll also revealed that the primary drivers of travel are leisure (39%), curiosity and learning (14%), and visiting relatives and friends (13%). Going shopping (8%), and embarking on an adventure (8%), are two other motivators.

Also Read: From Goa To Europe, Indian Travellers Are Ready To Explore The World This Christmas & New Year

4. Sustainability Choice Of Travellers

63 per cent of respondents said they were interested in travelling responsibly, mentioning using energy-efficient transportation, selecting sustainable lodging, and avoiding single-use plastics when travelling as examples.

5. Future Trips

Digital Payment
image credits: Canva

Travellers get ideas for their next adventures from a variety of sources, with word-of-mouth (48%) and advertising (49%) coming in first. When choosing a place and activities, promotions (41%), social media (39%), and travel material (37%) are also important triggers.

One of the primary advantages of travelling cashless is the unparalleled convenience it offers. Travellers no longer need to carry wads of cash, worry about exchange rates, or search for ATMs in unfamiliar territories. Instead, a simple swipe or tap of a card or a quick scan through a mobile payment app is often all that is required.

Shifting Traveller Trends

Digital Payment
image credits: Canva

Successfully navigating these evolving customer preferences will be essential for the tourism sector. VISA’ has established strong partnerships with numerous entities in the travel industry. This includes airlines, travel agencies, merchants, financial institutions, and government agencies. These partnerships serve as evidence that data-driven organisations are better equipped to engage customers at scale with tailored and impactful travel experiences.

From April to June 2023, 4SIGHT Research & Analytics surveyed 15,467 people in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mainland China, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. This was as part of the VISA’ Global Travel Intentions Study 2023. The biennial GTI study has been conducted for more than ten years. It provides insight into travel and payment habits while identifying new developments in the travel industry.

The cashless odyssey has not only changed the way we spend money while travelling. Together, it is also shaping the future landscape of global finance and commerce. So, how do you prefer to travel?

Cover image credits: Canva


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