Visa Study Uncovers Untapped Opportunity for Smartphone Payments in Asia Pacific as Mobile Payments Continue to Thrive


Over half (55%) of consumers in Asia Pacific would use Tap to Phone payments at the checkout counter. Tap to phone solutions enable small businesses to accept Visa payments on their smartphones, eliminating the need for expensive point-of-sale infrastructure.


As consumers and businesses across Asia Pacific increasingly turn to digital payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, Visa has accelerated the availability of Tap to Phone solutions in Vietnam to bring more micro and small businesses into the digital economy. Tap to Phone enables sellers to accept Visa contactless payments directly on their own Android NFC-enabled smartphones, without the need for a separate payment acceptance terminal.

New research from Visa found that the majority (55%) of Asia Pacific consumers would likely use Tap to Phone payments, despite solutions not yet being widely available in the region. Meanwhile, Vietnam has seen a surge of mobile wallet and payment app usage in recent years, with over 85% of Vietnamese consumers owning at least one mobile wallet or payment app1, and over 42% using mobile contactless payments2.

“With 129.5 million mobile phone subscriptions and around half of them using 3G and 4G3, Vietnam is particularly well-adapted to the use of Tap to Phone payments, and has already leapfrogged many developed economies when it comes to mobile payments,” said Madame Dang Tuyet Dung, Country Manager for Visa Vietnam and Laos. “The country’s high mobile phone penetration rate indicates the consumer population’s readiness for digital payment functions to be made available on mobile. 84% of Vietnamese consumers said they felt safe while making mobile payments4, a reflection of the ability of mobile payments to increase national confidence in digital payments on the whole.”

Ease, convenience, and not needing to use cash appeal to consumers

In addition to simplifying point-of-sale infrastructure for businesses, tap to phone payments bring benefits to consumers. Of APAC consumers surveyed, ease of use was rated as the top reason that would encourage them to try tap to phone (52%). This was followed by saving time (51%) and eliminating the need to carry cash (50%).

Forty-three per cent of consumers rated security as a factor that would encourage their adoption of tap to phone payments. However, Visa believes there is a need for the industry to work together to educate consumers about security features. Losing personal or financial information were named as the top concerns around using tap to phone. Tap to Phone solutions bring multiple layers of security on both the buyer and seller side, to ensure that Visa’s high standards for secure payments are met. Each solution undergoes an intensive certification process including a security assessment by an accredited expert security lab. These solutions are also supported by an industry standard that has been developed and published by the PCI Security Standards Council.

Convenience stores, restaurants and food courts popular settings for Tap to Phone

Visa’s research also looked at where consumers would be most likely to pay via tap to phone. Convenience stores were cited by 59% of survey participants, reflecting the desire for quick, easy transactions. Over half (56%) said they would want to be able to pay at a restaurant while seated at the table. Food courts, street stalls and kiosks were the third most popular venue at 52%. Similar surveys conducted in Vietnam revealed that 79% of consumers currently prefer to pay with card payments and mobile apps instead of cash5, while 43% of respondents said they had been ordering food online more often through the pandemic6.

“For micro and small businesses, Tap to Phone is a safe and cost-effective way to accept Visa and enjoy the benefits of digital commerce,” added Ms. Dung. “This is particularly relevant in light of COVID-19, which has made limiting physical contract a priority among consumers. With 71% of those who have a mobile wallet or payment app claiming to use it at least once a week7, consumer demand for modernized payment and service methods are creating new opportunities for businesses, and accelerating Tap to Phone is one of a number of solutions that will serve to drive Vietnam’s digital payments landscape into the 21st century.”

Visa is working with and has certified nine technology providers and is partnering with many acquirers and fintechs to bring solutions to market across the region. Visa and its partners have already launched Tap to Phone solutions in Malaysia and India, with more Asia Pacific markets to follow in the coming months.

Methodology: Visa Asia Pacific Tap to Phone Study
The Visa Asia Pacific Tap to Phone study was conducted by YouGov research between 16 to 20 July 2020, among 6,832 adults ages 18+ in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan.




1 Payment Pulse Vietnam ­– Prepared for Visa by Clear 10th June 2020.

2 The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study 2019.

3 State Bank Vietnam Report – November 2019

4 The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study 2019.

5 Pandemic Response Report Vietnam.

6 Kantar COVID-19 Barometer (2020) – A study from fieldwork conducted on 19-23 June 2020 collating consumer data across 40 markets globally and 11 markets in the Asia-Pacific, commissioned by Visa.

7Payment Pulse Vietnam ­– Prepared for Visa by Clear 10th June 2020.


About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device, for everyone, everywhere.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, and @VisaNews.