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Over 60% of globe to use digital wallets in 2026

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A new study from Juniper Research has found that the total number of digital wallet users will exceed 5.2 billion globally in 2026, up from 3.4 billion in 2022, representing strong growth of over 53%.

The research predicts the presence of ‘superapps’ will drive digital wallet use in developing countries that are currently considered cash-heavy.

Superapps are multipurpose apps that integrate digital payments alongside other services, including wealth management and eCommerce.

The study identified three countries in the Asia Pacific primed for rapid growth over the next four years:

  1. Philippines
  2. Thailand
  3. Vietnam

It predicts the adoption of digital wallets will be near 75% of the population in each of these countries by 2026.

It cited the rising access to online and mobile commerce services as driving forces behind the use of digital wallets, notably through superapps.

Research co-author Damla Sat explained: “These rapidly growing markets represent a significant opportunity for digital wallet vendors, but they must work intelligently to maximise their position.

“A highly competitive wallets’ landscape means that vendors must differentiate themselves by integrating machine learning to provide spending insights and introduce new services such as wealth management to add value.”

Innovation

Additionally, the research identified QR code payments as the most popular digital wallet transaction type in 2026, reaching 380 billion transactions globally and accounting for over 40% of all transactions by volume.

However, as usage within markets including China and India reaches its apex, vendors must innovate to remain competitive, entering new geographic markets.

Therefore, the research recommends that QR code payment vendors integrate loyalty features and personalised marketing capabilities to incentivise merchant acceptance, which will be critical to driving adoption.