Southeast Asia: A Digital Payment Powerhouse

From 2017 to 2020, statistics show that the number of e-wallet users globally exploded from 500 million to 2.8 billion, and Southeast Asia (SEA) is at the helm of this growth, poised to be a digital payment powerhouse globally.

A new IDC report commissioned by payments platform 2C2P revealed that digital payments are transforming SEA, with e-commerce spending seen to leap by 162% to US$179.8 billion by 2025. Digital payments are taking the lion’s share  – 91% of transactions – of this spending.

COVID-19 drove over 60 million people to use digital services for the first time, driven by retail trends and more inclusive payment options. In 2020 alone, e-commerce exploded with 222 million users, a number expected to grow further to 411 million users – an addition of nearly 189 million – by 2025 as new payment methods are developed and spurred by the convenience and easy use of mobile wallets and buy now, pay later (BNPL) plans.

The largest markets for e-commerce payments are forecast to be Indonesia, US$83 billion; Vietnam, US$29 billion; and Thailand, US$24 billion.

From 2020 to 2025, usage of mobile wallets and BNPL could grow by 30% and 58% respectively. Indonesia is seen to continue leading this growth, with the addition of over 100 million new mobile wallets, IDC predicts. The Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand are seen to increasingly shift from cash to digital payments usage by 2025, IDC added