New research by credit card giant Visa has found that, in the third quarter of 2010, Malaysian respondents spent the most (US$101) in paying their bills online.
They were followed by respondents from Indonesia (US$88) and mainland China (US$74).
The Visa eCommerce Consumer Monitor tracked the quarterly online spending trends of some 3,156 internet consumers in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand.
According to industry estimates, households in markets such as China, India and Indonesia currently pay between two and four bills per month, with this number potentially increasing as these markets develop.
In an announcement Visa said that internet users in emerging eCommerce markets in the Asia Pacific are going online to pay their bills, choosing the convenience and flexibility of paying electronically over cash or checks.
The research found that the most common types of bills paid online in the past six months were for mobile phone service, payment card purchases, internet access and utilities.
Visa said that, when asked how they paid their bills; either on or offline, 27 per cent of respondents said bank websites were their principal channel for bill payments, 20 per cent said they primarily used an ATM, while 10 per cent said they paid online directly to merchant or supplier websites. Convenience stores, bank branches, online bill payment websites, and the post office each had less than 10 per cent of respondents citing these options as their main bill payment channel.
Paul Jung, Head of Visa's eCommerce business across Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa said that: "With our busy lifestyles, keeping track of whether you have paid all of your bills can be challenging. Linking recurring bill payments to a Visa payment card or using the card to pay bills online allows consumers to track payments, avoid late payment fees, accumulate rewards points and frees them from having to go to a physical location to make a payment. Plus with the Verified by Visa cardholder identity authentication service, consumers can make online payments with their Visa card with the assurance that their payment will be processed securely," Jung said.
Other findings of the Visa research were that:
60 per cent of respondents said they paid their bills online in the last 12 months and almost all of these respondents (97 per cent) said they would continue to do so over the next six months.
Of those respondents from the Visa survey who had paid bills online before, 26 per cent said online bill payment allows them to save time, while 25 per cent said they enjoyed the flexibility to be able to pay bills anytime. On average, respondents across all six markets paid US$74 worth of bills online over the period of a year.
Source: 2010 Visa eCommerce Consumer Monitor