The Mastercard Impact Study 2020 found that Malaysia leads other countries in Southeast Asia when it comes to mobile or digital wallet usage. Malaysia has a mobile wallet usage of 40%, ahead of other countries like the Philippines at 36%, Thailand at 27%, and Singapore at 26%.
The input for the study was gathered from 10,000 consumers and business professionals across 10 markets in the Asia Pacific region. The Malaysia market edition results showed that Covid-19 and its ensuing movement restrictions had necessitated the rapid adoption of e-commerce, digital payments, and online activities in the region, driving momentum towards the digital economy in Southeast Asia.
With regards to online activities, nearly half of consumers surveyed in Malaysia reported an increase in online shopping during the period. Other online activities also saw an increase in interest, such as surfing the Internet for news and entertainment (75%), online video streaming (57%), social networking (55%), and home delivery of food or groceries (50%).
The report further indicated that even as countries begin to ease on restrictions, some of the trends and habits formed in response to the pandemic are likely to remain in the new normal. 64% of Malaysians said that they would conduct online shopping at the same frequency as currently or before the pandemic, even after restrictions are lifted. Similarly, 54% of consumers expect to continue home deliveries and 45% anticipate maintaining a work from home arrangement.
Overall, Malaysia’s digital activities, especially online shopping and usage of digital payments, were also higher compared to other markets in Southeast Asia. In April, consumers in Malaysia were doing 18% more cashless payments including mobile and QR payments, compared to 16% in the Philippines and 15% in Singapore and Thailand respectively.
Besides the digital wallet, Malaysian consumers also shifted to other payment methods such as contactless debit cards (26%) and contactless credit cards (22%). As a result of the shift to digital and contactless payments, cash usage in the region declined since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic – by 67% in Singapore, 64% in Malaysia and the Philippines, and 59% in Thailand.
According to Southeast Asia Emerging Markets Mastercard division president Safdar Khan, Mastercard is committed to using the power of data to enable businesses of all sizes adapt and evolve alongside consumers’ changing needs and behaviours – through the use of e-commerce tools, increased contactless payment limits, and spearheading the shift to contactless in the region.
“By putting consumer sentiment and concerns at the core of all decisions, businesses and governments will be able to move with greater confidence from this current situation, and mitigate the adverse impact of future crises,” Khan concluded.
(Source: Malay Mail)