As revealed in Ding’s second Global Prepaid Index, consumers are increasingly placing digital assets ahead of other, more traditional financial products, such as personal loans. The data also highlights the strong level of digital currency adoption, which was as high as 25% in some of the surveyed developing countries.
This bi-annual global study commissioned by the mobile top-up service Ding examines the views of 6,250 respondents across the KSA, UAE, Nigeria, Indonesia, Germany, India, Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines, regarding their engagement in the prepaid market and their attitudes towards the economy.
Among the countries surveyed, the highest rate of digital currency adoption was seen in Nigeria, with 25% of users confirming they currently hold Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
It was followed by the Philippines and Indonesia, where 19% and 18% of respondents, respectively, confirmed they hold crypto. In contrast, cryptocurrency adoption was lowest in Germany and Mexico, with 8% each, followed by Saudi Arabia with 10%.
The findings also represent a higher preference for cryptocurrencies than for their opposing traditional financial products. Cryptocurrencies ranked sixth out of thirteen options, with traditional bank accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards the most popular products. However, crypto ranked higher in terms of global popularity than personal loans, stocks and shares, and mortgages among GPI respondents.
The report also revealed some broader findings of the global prepaid market, showing that over three-quarters of users have engaged with prepaid products or services. However, far from being the last resort of those who don’t qualify for a phone contract or credit card, the survey overwhelmingly found that people opt for prepaid due to reasons such as better budgeting and expenditure control. In contrast, only 11% said they used prepaid because they had no other choice.
Speaking exclusively to The Fintech Times in regards to the findings of the study, Rupert Shaw, Ding’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “2021 has certainly been a year where cryptocurrencies, de-fi and NFTs have all become almost mainstream in conversation. Our Global Prepaid Index has repeatedly shown that consumers want flexibility and an alternative to what is out there and this applies to investment options as well as other prepaid products – prepaid consumers are savvy, they want to exercise control and a notable trend is that they want an alternative to the traditional financial services that exist.
“The peer-to-peer nature of this category of investment is appealing and it’s also an opportunity for them to be financially included in ways they may have been excluded from in the past.”
However, security issues continue to plague the industry. Another interesting finding of the GPI report is the high correlation between fear of cybercrimes and cryptocurrency adoption. Over half of respondents from Nigeria, the Philippines, and Indonesia expressed fear of incidents such as theft of financial information, identity fraud, or hacking – more than other countries.
Respondents from these countries were also more likely to report fear of government or corporate data harvesting. But in contrast, Indian consumers were the least likely to be concerned about online financial crime and data fraud, while German respondents were least concerned about data collection.