by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic by BLOOMBERG
MALAYSIA is fast becoming a cashless society, with 70% of the consumers preferring merchants that accept digital payments compared to those that only accept cash.
According to the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2018, there is a growing preference for digital payments among Malaysian consumers as seen in a similar trend based on their VisaNet data, an advanced global processing network that provides secure and reliable payments around the world.
“The total value of consumer spending on Visa and number of transactions have increased double-digit percent year-on-year.
“However, there are continued opportunities for growth because cash still accounts for more than 60% of consumer spending in Malaysia,” Visa Malaysia country manager Ng Kong Boon said in a statement yesterday.
Digital payments are becoming the method of choice with an increase of 21% compared to the previous year.
The VisaNet data also shows that over half of the respondents expect their use of digital payments to increase over the next year.
Higher usages of digital payments are expected to be seen among merchants including large shopping malls (65%), supermarkets (60%) and bill payments (57%).
The study also shows that most respondents appreciate the benefits that come with paying cashless with 70% cited the method as convenient, 62% said it is hassle-free, while 56% opted for its wide acceptance.
More than half of the respondents said going cashless offers greater payment security, in addition to being able to track their spending better.
However, cash remains the preferred payment method for small transaction amounts in the country.
Ng said the company is also more focused on expanding merchant contactless acceptance in the country over the past few years.
“To date, we have enabled contactless payments acceptance in major merchant categories such as petrol stations, supermarkets, quick-service restaurants and laundromats.
“As a result, Malaysia is now one of the fastest-growing countries in Asia Pacific in terms of contactless payments usage,” he said.
Ng is also optimistic that Malaysia is a step closer to becoming a cashless nation because merchants and consumers appreciate the frictionless payments experience brought about by digital payment.