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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

Electronic wallet downloads slowing, study shows

The growth in downloads of electronic wallets (e-wallets) slowed in 2022, with active users declining, according to a study by consumer finance company Digido.


Fourteen e-wallets in the Philippines had a combined total of 114.4 million downloads in 2022, which represented 20% of downloads from Business and Finance categories across all devices and platforms, the study released on Monday showed.


This was a 30.5% or 26.7-million increase from 2021, and a 632% or an over 99-million increase from 2018.


“In this regard, the market generally continues to grow by about 4.3% per month. However, after the explosive growth in 2020 and 2021, the downloads are gradually starting to decline in 2022,” Digido said.


“This is likely due to the growing competition from digital banks, setting the course towards ecosystems. Another factor could be the intra-market competition and segmentation, in which the lion’s share of the market is taken over by a small number of wallets, leaving the remaining competitors with virtually nothing,” it said.


Digido said the e-wallets included in its study were CIS Bayad Center, Coins.ph, eCebuana, GCash, Juan Cash, Lazada Wallet, Mango, MarCo Pay, Maya, Moneygment, PayLoro, Star Pay, Tagcash and Toktokwallet.


The e-wallets studied have both electronic money issuer and operator of payment system licenses from the central bank, or are operated in partnership with a company with these licenses.


The study showed that there were 58 million active e-wallet application users as of end-2022, or those who logged into the app at least once in the last 30 days, declining by 8% or five million from the active user base in 2021.


Still, the active user base of e-wallet apps grew 466% from 2018.


“This figure is comparable to 72% of the population aged 15+, according to UN (United Nations) estimates (e-wallet penetration rate). Considering that one person can use several applications at the same time, we assume that every second Filipino aged 15+ definitely uses at least one e-wallet,” Digido said.


“The main increase in activity took place in 2020 and 2021. During this period, user activity increased by 187% or 41.1 million people, likely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which simply forced the population to use the services of this kind,” it added.


Meanwhile, e-wallet users visited at least one of the mobile apps included the study at an average of 16 times per month last year, steady from 2021.


However, this was lower than the 17 average visits recorded in 2020 and the 19 visits in 2019.


“In 2022 alone, 58 million users accounted for about 16 billion seconds, which is equivalent to 4.4 million hours or 505 years. This figure is 16% more than a year earlier, which is telling of an increasingly loyal audience of customers. This is evident because the growth in both the total number of unique downloads and the total number of active customers has decreased over the year, but the amount of time spent in applications has increased,” Digido said.


The company said the total number of active users of the 14 e-wallets could reach 81 million people by 2025.


“There are three main reasons for growth. First, there is a natural limit in the form of the population of the Philippines aged 15+, which, according to UN estimates, will be 85.4 million people by the end of 2025. Secondly, despite the global recession, the current economy of the country is in its growth stage… Thirdly, the global demand for electronic money is growing,” Digido added.


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