Contactless card payments are gaining momentum in the country, with 65% of Malaysians having used contactless payments. The Visa Consumer Payments Study found that Malaysia is one of the fastest-growing countries in Asia-Pacific in terms of contactless penetration.
According to the study, 85% of Malaysian respondents make contactless payments at least once a week, with 82% using contactless payments more frequently compared to two years ago. Data also showed that close to half of all Visa face-to-face payments are contactless payments. Malaysians believe that contactless payments are a faster payment method compared to other solutions and allow them to not carry cash around.
With regard to cashless payments in general, more than 70% of Malaysians are supportive of the country becoming a cashless society – with 62% believing that that this can be achieved within the next five years. Consumers cited the ease of tracking financial records, not needing to queue up at banks, and increased efficiency for the country as the top three benefits of opting for a cashless society.
Nearly 2 in 5 respondents said that they were carrying less cash compared to two years ago; 69% said this was because more merchants are adopting cashless payments and 65% said it was due to the safety concerns over carrying cash. When asked whether they were planning to use cashless payment methods more often and move away from cash, 69% of Malaysians responded in the affirmative. This trend was more apparent in the affluent segment, where 77% of respondents showed an interest to do so.
“It is heartening to see the increase in digital payments usage by Malaysians in the country, especially contactless payments,” said Visa Country Manager For Malaysia Ng Kong Boon. However, Ng pointed out that despite the growth in digital payment usage by Malaysians, there are still “tremendous opportunities” for cash displacement in the country.
“We are seeing a proliferation of various payment solutions being introduced to Malaysia, which may accelerate the use of digital payments,” said Ng. “However, it may also cause the payment industry to be more fragmented so it is crucial for us to work closely with the banks, merchants and fintech community to ensure the solutions we’re creating are interoperable so it can drive greater adoption amongst Malaysians.”