Exploring the Rise of Digital Wallets in APAC: Trends and Opportunities

Discover how digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and PayPal are reshaping the payment landscape in the APAC region.
FTB News DeskFebruary 22, 202414 min

We all know that convenience is paramount in today’s time. Digital wallets and mobile wallets have transformed the way we make payments now, and as a part of the fintech industry, we witness this revolution in several regions across the globe. Financial institutions, merchants, card providers, and many other small to mid-sized businesses are at the forefront, leaning towards online payments because it is easier, safer, and more efficient to manage their digital money. These entities strive to deliver a seamless payment experience by shifting away from a product-centric approach.

APAC serves as a host for a rapidly growing number of tech-savvy consumers who are heavily dependent on their mobile devices for everyday tasks. For the APAC audience, mobile wallets are handy owing to the growing use of new tech-smartphones that accommodate convenient and easy online payment modes. Making contactless transactions or payments is more preferred than spending physical cash. 

On the contrary, the use of digital wallet payments has been more popular among small businesses in APAC because most customers who like dealing with mobile-friendly options that offer digital wallet payments have found seamless and easy payment processes to be more user-friendly and secure. In addition to this, digital wallet transactions provide high-level security services through biometric authentication and tokenization, which in essence reduces the level of fraudulent activity. Since it’s simple to integrate the digital wallet acceptances into the existing payment systems and doesn’t require much training, businesses nowadays can seamlessly adopt mobile payments as many point-of-sale (POS) systems are already equipped with NFC technology.

Therefore, partnering with the right merchants and implementing proper security measures and protocols can empower SMBs and SMEs to build credibility with their clients, allowing them to foster robust and loyal relationships. 

Let’s delve into the intricacies of the top 4 wallets in the APAC region:

Apple Pay 

Apple Pay is popular among tech enthusiasts as it works seamlessly with Apple devices,it is highly evident that iPhone and Apple product users only can use Apple Pay. We all know that when it comes to security, Apple stands tall, as its security features include tokenization and biometric authentication, which also contribute to its popularity.

Apple Pay is widely accepted as it provides users with opportunities to make contactless payments at stores, restaurants, and transit stations, which ensures the convenience and efficiency of cashless transactions. However, regional differences exist due to variations in infrastructure, regulations, and consumer preferences across APAC countries. While Apple Pay is well-established in markets like Japan and Australia, its adoption may be slower in countries with less developed banking systems or where Android devices are more prevalent.

Nevertheless, APAC countries are actively endeavoring to bolster Apple Pay acceptance by collaborating with banks, merchants, and payment networks. For example, in Singapore, the government’s push for cashless payments has spurred widespread adoption of Apple Pay across retail outlets and transit systems, showcasing concerted efforts to expand its usage.

Google pay 

Google Pay has experienced a significant rise in popularity across the APAC region, leading to a growing user base. Gpay enjoys popularity in India as it gives users the option of paying by scanning the QR code, which makes it accessible to a wide range of consumers, including those in rural areas. Moreover, it ensures smooth connections with many Indian banks and merchants, which acts as a catalyst for its widespread adoption.

If we talk about sectors, Gpay is widely being used in retail, e-commerce, transportation, and utilities. This versatility has made it a preferred payment method among consumers and businesses. Even after being enjoyed by users for convenience and security, Gpay still faces regional disparities in how it is used and adopted.

APAC countries such as India and Singapore have accepted Gpay as an easy mode of online payment. However, other countries in the APAC region are gradually understanding and adjusting themselves to the growing trend of contactless transactions. Financial institutions, card merchants, and merchants are actively promoting and encouraging their customers to use Google Pay through promotional activities, rewards, and integrating or merging their services with e-commerce platforms. This effort is speeding up the acceptance and use of Google Pay across various industries and markets in the APAC region.

Samsung Pay 

Unlike the other electronic payments, Samsung Pay incorporates Magnetic Secure Transmission [MST] technology, which makes it one of a kind as it enables users to pay via vintage magnetic stripe card terminals. This service has helped Samsung Pay grow in markets with a significant percentage of obsolete terminals, such as those in APAC. In South Korea, Samsung Pay is widely accepted at convenience stores, restaurants, and public transit systems, offering users a convenient payment solution.

On the other hand, regional differences exist due to factors such as the market penetration of Samsung devices and the availability of NFC-supporting terminals. While Samsung Pay has gained attention in countries like South Korea and Australia, its adoption may be slower in markets with fewer Samsung users or limited NFC infrastructure.


We all know that PayPal is known globally; this versatility makes it a preferred payment method for cross-border transactions, payments, and online shopping. Paypal is consumer- and retailer-friendly because of its policies, and its wide acceptance among merchants makes it popular. It is used in various sectors, like e-commerce, freelancing, travel, and digital services. In countries such as Australia and Singapore, users can buy goods and services on international websites, pay freelancers, and make bookings using PayPal.

Further to this,  PayPal is well established in mature markets like Australia and Japan, but its penetration may be slower in the less developed countries that have lower virtual connections, regulatory constraints, market competition, and consumer trust. To expand its market acceptance, PayPal is now collaborating with e-commerce platforms and merchants. 

For instance, in China, in 2020 PayPal has collaborated with local e-commerce giants like Alibaba and Tencent to facilitate cross-border transactions and expand its user base.

The increasing use of digital wallets and mobile payments is changing how we handle transactions. These methods offer great convenience, security, and simplicity. In the APAC region, businesses can benefit from using digital wallets because they match the preferences of tech-savvy customers, become more digital, and make purchasing easier and more convenient. 

Using digital wallets also provides businesses an advantage in a fast-changing market that’s becoming more digital. By using digital wallets, businesses can make buying things easier, make payments more secure with features like fingerprint or face recognition, and handle transactions across borders smoothly. This helps them meet the needs of today’s customers and grow their business in a digital world.

In short, adopting digital wallet payment methods helps businesses in the APAC region keep up with new trends and be leaders in innovation. This leads to better connections with customers and opens up new ways to grow and make money.

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FTB News Desk


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