The Jakarta Post
Online booking is becoming increasingly popular among internetsavvy Indonesian travelers, and the growing lifestyle is also expected to include cashless payments.
Rudianto, an executive working in Jakarta, for example, has a habit of traveling abroad either for business or leisure and always books airline tickets and hotel room online because “you can do it at anytime and anywhere. This means it is more efficient in terms of time and cost,” said the 40-year-old.
But when it comes to making financial transactions, he acknowledged that initially he was in doubt about using his credit card, but the benefits that the card provides has prompted him to use it with confidence, especially when traveling to Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and other places where cash-based transactions are becoming less common.
“I always pay with my credit card, even when I pay for a taxi or bus fare in Korea. By holding a credit card, I do not have to convert my money into local currency,” he said.
He added that if he paid a taxi fare in local currency and had small change, then “the small change cannot be converted into rupiah when I am back home”.
Rudianto is one of the many Indonesians from the middle class with travel becoming part of their lifestyle. Being internet savvy, many are accustomed to booking airline tickets and hotel rooms digitally, with some also becoming familiar with digital payment.
Indonesia is one of the 27 countries and territories that Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, has recently surveyed through its Global Travel Intentions (GTI) study.
Visa’s GTI study, which was conducted between June and July 2017, has revealed some very interesting travel insights, including how travelers have become increasingly familiar with technology to plan their trips and navigate to their destinations.
For example, Indonesian travelers rely heavily on online information sources at every stage of travel, 91 percent while planning, 82 percent while booking, and 82 percent gained online access while traveling overseas, the study revealed.
The study further said in the past two years, Indonesians traveled internationally for leisure an average of five trips, while in the next two years, the average will be higher at 5.4 trips. “The most common trigger for Indonesian travelers to take a trip is family vacation during holidays,” as mentioned in the study.
The study also revealed that when it comes to travel destinations, in the next two years, 20 percent of Indonesians will go to Japan, followed by Singapore, which accounts for 12 percent.
Another recent study by Visa on consumer payment attitudes disclosed that the influx of new technology and innovation “has inspired Indonesian consumers to use electronic payments in their daily lives as opposed to using cash because they are using electronic payments more often [57 percent], the feel using cards is safer than cash [61 percent], and they would like to eliminate the physical process of paying [60 percent].”
PT Visa Worldwide Indonesia president director Riko Abdurrahman said, “as technology and electronic payments become integral in our daily lives, we can expect more Indonesian travelers to rely on digital or mobile payments when planning, booking or traveling.”
“As our mobile and contactless payments have become increasingly popular all over the world, we hope Indonesian travelers will use their Visa cards to enjoy hassle-free payments anywhere they go,” he said.
“To further accelerate electronic payments acceptance in Indonesia, Visa has recently teamed up with Cashlez to distribute 5,000 mobile point of sale (mPOS) contactless-enabled devices in popular tourist cities, including Bali,Lombok, Yogyakarta, Solo, Surabaya, Malang, Medan and Bandung,” Riko pointed out.
More Indonesians are familiar with technology when it comes to traveling, but many, perhaps, are still in doubt about the safety of cashless payments when taking a trip.
Following are some tips on having a safe, cashless trip, no matter where you go, which will hopefully be useful: