Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s most visited cities, according to Mastercard’s research on global destinations. How has a region once notorious for its reputation as a backpacker paradise, clinch such results? Rapid modernization, the proliferation of internet connectivity, more affordable data roaming plans and free public Wi-Fi may have something to do with it.
Part of this phenomenon has also been driven by the digitization of the travel industry. Tech-savvy Southeast Asian consumers can now plan, book and pay for their vacations all in the palm of their hands with state-of-the-art mobile smartphones.
Mastercard’s latest Global Destinations Cities Index also clues us into other key traveler profiles. Visitors are increasingly affluent, sophisticated, and spend-happy, staying for longer periods in their destinations.
Much of this is reflected in their behavior in the cities they choose to jet to. Hover over this image for more insights into visitors’ travel habits in Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur:
Payment Control when Traveling
Home to more than 250 million smartphone users, Southeast Asian consumers are growing wary of cybercrime. In fact, the 2015 Mastercard Safety and Security Index found that 35 percent of consumers across Southeast Asia were concerned about identity theft in relation to data breaches.
To help ensure your money’s safety and assume greater oversight of your online spending while abroad, use these smart payment tips on your next trip:
- Need to make a quick booking online? Forgo public Wi-Fi and use a private network, which requires a password to handle sensitive information. This will safeguard your payments details from hackers.
- Shop or make reservations only on sites that have a lock symbol in the browser window. If the site’s address begins with “https” (note: the “s” stands for secured), it ensures that any information you type in is secured.
- Change your passwords regularly to lower the risks of information theft. Keep them private and ensure they cannot be easily guessed.
- When using a public or shared computer, remember to erase the history and temporary Internet files before you leave. By doing so, you will ensure that you leave no confidential payment card information behind.
While the latest technologies have made life simpler and easier, consumers should also take responsibility in staying safe and secure. Take Control. Live Freely.
Educate yourself with more payments-related safety and security tips here.