Security is key for mobile wallet adoption in Thailand – Visa Study


Three in five Thais (61 percent) believe mobile payment systems will one day replace cards and cash in daily use

Whether paying with contactless cards or mobile wallets, Thais prioritize security over convenience and are more likely to use contactless payment methods when they know strong security measures are in place, according to a recent study conducted by Visa.

The Visa Mobile Wallet and Contactless Study found that the majority of Thais (82 percent) believe security is more important than convenience when it comes to mobile and contactless payments.1 With accelerated growth in financial technology (FinTech), public and private sectors are grappling with ways to increase consumer confidence in electronic payments, particularly when it comes to transactions carried out on mobile devices.

The average Thai spends around 160 minutes a day on their mobile devices.2 By the end of 2016, it is estimated that around 20 million people will own smartphones in Thailand, a figure expected to rise to 24.8 million by 2019.3 Although internet access and mobile device ownership among Thais are on the rise, uptake of mobile financial services has been gradual, partly due to Thai consumers being unaware of advancements in cyber security, and technology.

Suripong Tantiyanon, Visa Country Manager, Thailand said: “Based on our study, the more secure the mobile payment experience is, the more willing Thai consumers will be to use it. We’re confident this cautious yet optimistic attitude, coupled with Visa’s multilayered approach to security, will drive the uptake of mobile transactions in Thailand.”

The Visa study, independently conducted by YouGov on behalf of Visa, examines Thais’ attitudes towards mobile and contactless payments alongside those of other Southeast Asian markets, namely Singapore and Malaysia. It finds that the three biggest fears in mobile wallet security are hacking of mobile phone (73 percent), theft of mobile phone (65 percent) and getting charged for unintended purchases (63 percent).

“Among the respondents, only 39 percent said they would consider using third-party mobile wallets. But within this particular group of potential adopters 74 percent are already aware of how encrypted tokens eliminate the risk of personal data theft,” added Mr. Suripong.

Visa Token Service (VTS) ensures mobile and contactless payments are secure as well as convenient. VTS replaces cardholder information, such as account numbers and expiration dates, with a unique digital identifier (a “token”) that can be used for payment, via a user’s mobile wallet, without exposing the cardholders’ more sensitive account information.

Tokenization hides consumers’ confidential account information during digital transactions, making digital payments more secure. According to the study, approximately 55 percent of Thais are familiar with VTS, with awareness highest among those that are also familiar with mobile wallet technology.

Just under half of Thais (46 percent) believe paying with a mobile device is as safe as with physical cards; a figure likely to increase in the future, as people become more familiar with advancements in Visa’s mobile payment systems.

Three in five Thais (61 percent) believe that one day they will no longer need to carry a card or cash and will instead be able to use their mobile wallets for everyday spending.

“Once Thais become familiar with innovative security measures, such as encrypted tokens, they are much more likely to use mobile and contactless payments more regularly,” said Mr. Suripong.


1 Visa digital wallet and contactless payment survey is conducted by YouGov on behalf of Visa with 750 Thai respondents to assess their attitudes towards mobile and contactless payments in August 2016

2 The survey about Smartphone User Persona Report (SUPR) 2015 for Thailand was conducted for Vserv by Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights with 565 smartphone respondents in Thailand.



About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit, and @VisaNews.