MANILA — Filipinos using internet devices to book flights and shop are driving the growth of cashless payments in the country, payment solutions provider Visa said Thursday.

Ride-hailing services are also encouraging the adoption of cashless transactions according to a Visa poll of 500 middle income adults.

Nearly 50 percent of respondents want to pay without cash but are held back by a lack of banks and internet connectivity, said Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam Stuart Tomlinson.

Online shopping contributed to one-fifth of total spend on Visa cards in the Philippines, he told reporters

"The biggest driver for online purchases is always airlines. In the Philippines you have an enormously successful budget airline that's driving the biggest growth," he said.

Filipino online shoppers have also increased spending by almost 30 percent in 2017 compared to total purchases in 2016.

Filipinos are beginning to order food online thanks to the development of delivery apps, Tomlinson said.

"It's faster, more convenient, and safer," he said.

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