Nearly 90% of Thais now use some form of cashless payment in their daily lives, according to the new Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study. Among those who have switched, 43% said they lasted for more than a week without using cash, the report said.

About 79% also believe they could go without cash for the next 24 hours, an increase of 11 percentage points from the previous study. The study also revealed that 61% of Thai consumers said they were carrying less cash than in the previous year.

Contactless payments are growing in popularity in Thailand to pay for goods and services at physical stores and transportation. Bangkok commuters now use their contactless credit cards to pay for fares on MRT Blue and Purple lines, electric boat services, and the tollway.

Thai consumers’ evolving behavior toward digital payments is partly out of necessity, said Suripong Tantiyanon, country manager of Visa Thailand, referring to measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. But this year’s findings are evidence that the changes have become more habitual and established.

The top three reasons for the decline in cash usage are the shift to more digital payments (77%), concern about the potential of infection (54%), and the increasing acceptance of digital payments by merchant locations (45%).

The top five categories where Thai consumers foresee going fully cashless in the near future are convenience stores (67%), bill payments (64%), supermarkets (62%), public transport (56%), and food and dining (55%).

The survey polled 1,000 Thai consumers, part of a broader study of 6,520 people in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, conducted in October 2021.