Academic: Covid-19 a trendsetter of e-payment methods

An academic has recently argued that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the habits of local buyers and sellers when it comes to using electronic and mobile payment methods on a regular basis.

In recent years, various forms of mobile payment have been gradually become widespread in the city. With the promotion of the Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM) and financial institutions, the relevant infrastructure and services has been gradually refined, transforming the habits of residents in making payments.

During the current pandemic, the two past rounds and the upcoming round of consumption stimulus launched by the Macau government are taking the form of electronic or mobile payment, which has led to expanded coverage for those payment methods.

The AMCM recently announced mobile payment statistics for the first quarter of this year.

In the said period, the number of transactions for local mobile payment tools was 63.72 million, up 12.1% quarter-on-quarter. The total transaction volume reached 5.9 billion, up 3% quarter-on-quarter. The average amount transacted was 92.9 patacas.

As of the end of March 2022, the number of locally accepted mobile payment machines and static QR payment codes was approximately 93,000, a quarter-to-quarter increase of 1.9%.

Agreeing on the situation is Professor Samuel Tong Kai Chung, president of the Macau Institute of Management, who has recently told local newspaper Exmoo that the current pandemic is the trendsetter for payment methods.

He attributed the cause of the transformation to more common and frequent online shopping and takeaway food ordering services. The electronic stimulus for consumption, of course, has also played a critical role.

Another cause of the new trend was that financial institutions that offer mobile payment services had opted to lower their transaction surcharges, giving business operators greater intentions to start accepting mobile payment methods. AL

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