A massive 90% of South African respondents to a Kaspersky Digital Payment survey reported an increase in their use of e-wallet and mobile banking in 2021.

Covid-19 was one of the main factors for that. In particular, online payment services helped 56% of the respondents to maintain social distancing.

Since acquired habits stay with people, 94% of those surveyed in South Africa intend to use Internet banking and e-wallet services more often even after the end of the pandemic.

Convenience compelled people locally most to embrace financial technologies – 93% of those surveyed appreciated the ability to pay whenever and wherever they are. Sixty-one percent also stated that Internet banking and mobile wallet services make it easier to manage financial information.

Asked about people’s reservations prior to using mobile banking and payment apps, users admitted their fears: they are afraid of storing their financial data online (36%) and don’t trust the security of these platforms (26%). Nearly three in 10 revealed that they are afraid of losing money online. Thirty-nine percent don’t have any reservations at all.

“Digital payment services are gaining more adopters despite the concerns and reservations. The pandemic was an opportunity in disguise for people to understand, learn and use digital payments services at their disposal for their own benefit,” says Bethwel Opil, enterprise sales manager at Kaspersky in Africa.

“However, as the cashless economy grows and evolves to accommodate the needs of the new normal, it is also important to understand and stay vigilant to the cyber-risks pertaining to online transactions.

“Since people are becoming increasingly comfortable with accessing digital payment applications, app developers and providers should now look into cybersecurity gaps at each stage of the payment process and build security features that will win the trust of potential users, as well as keep the existing customers protected at all times.”