PH consumers most confident in ASEAN of tech-driven growth

Filipinos are most confident that new technology will drive growth in business than their peers in ASEAN, but majority of Filipinos still prefer in-person interactions over chatbots compared with consumers from their neighbor countries, a new study revealed.

The recent VMware Digital Frontier 4.0 survey by VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) showed that Filipino consumers are the most confident (78%) in Southeast Asia (SEA) in believing that technology is an enabler in connecting families and people in their communities during a pandemic. Filipinos surveyed have also demonstrated the highest faith (83%) in the digital progress of the nation and the potential of technology in creating jobs and livelihood to create a stronger economic impact.

As the Philippines advances in their journey towards a digitally empowered future, Filipino consumers continue to show high reception to new technologies compared to other SEA countries. The survey showed that 55 percent are aware of the concept of Metaverse and optimistic about the implications of it, the highest in the region.

Also, 43 percent of Filipino consumers surveyed also believe that the metaverse will be favorable for the society. The survey also reveals that high internet service (76%) and better connectivity (68%) are the most important contributing factors for Filipino consumers to buy homes in the future, leading in adaptability than the rest of the world (55.5%).

As digital innovations accelerate in the Philippines across industries, Filipinos are found to prefer digital empowerment in some sectors more than the others. They have shown the least enthusiasm and acceptance (21%), compared to the rest of SEA (25%), in embracing robotics in healthcare or having virtual medical consultations with doctors (22%), whereas the study found that Filipinos are relying heavily on technology to create advanced ways of managing and working with the finances – second highest in Southeast Asia (67%) after Thailand (68%).

However, the survey also revealed that Filipinos still prefer in-person interactions over chatbots the most in this region (76%) in the finance and banking sector, 4 percent more than the rest of SEA.

The respondents from the Philippines also strongly believe that technologies that push new boundaries are necessary to improve the well-being of citizens and the society. Hence, 78 percent of the respondents in the Philippines feel that connectivity in rural areas must improve to create a truly digital future, the second highest in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. Six in ten respondents (61.4 percent) in the Philippines are worried that their older relatives are not able to keep up with the new digital world and that organizations should further their agenda to include every community as they propel towards creating a digitally empowered society.

Similar to last year, personal data privacy and security remain top concerns for consumers in the Philippines. The consumers are highly apprehensive about how their data is being used by organizations and the government; 51 percent of the respondents think the government has not been transparent enough in this regard, up from 46 percent in 2021, 60 percent are paranoid about being tracked by organizations on their devices and 29 percent cite the loss of privacy to organizations with access to their personal data as their top concern. The Filipino consumers have shown the most eagerness in this region (65 percent) to pay more to the internet services if that meant keeping their data private.

Walter So, Country Manager, VMware Philippines, said that fostering digitalization and modernization requires more than the ability to acquire immersive technologies. “It also means creating environments where businesses can leverage innovation by delivering meaningful change to drive the best results for the customers,” So said.

As the Philippines assesses the implications of COVID-19 and the economy shows a strong growth momentum, So said, enterprises must equip their customers with secure digital offerings by strengthening their ability to develop and deliver superior digital experiences that are easily accessible on any app, any cloud and any device.