Visa records 50% contactless transactions


MALAYSIA has achieved a new milestone with contactless payments representing more than 50% of all Visa face-to-face transactions, the credit card company said.

According to Visa, this is largely driven by usage in key categories such as food and groceries, quick service restaurants, department stores and drug stores in the country.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has fuelled the adoption of digital payments in Malaysia, especially contactless payments and e-commerce,” said Ng Kong Boon (picture), country manager for Visa Malaysia.

“In the past couple of years, we have seen strong growth in contactless payments due to the expansion of contactless acceptance across the country. Consumer behaviours are also changing with a growing preference for digital purchases,” he added.

Ng further said small businesses and merchants should focus on enabling digital payments acceptance and establish a digital presence to adapt in this changing environment.

“By adopting digital payments, merchants can cater to their consumers’ needs while growing their digital footprint, locally and cross-border. With initiatives such as the government’s ‘Buy Malaysian Products’ and ‘Where You Shop Matters’ campaign by Visa, business owners can leverage these platforms and resources to expand their online presence and reach their target markets,” he added.

Overall e-commerce spend has grown in strength at double-digit year-on-year (YoY) growth.

The e-commerce category that showed the highest growth for transactions between January and June this year was food and groceries, which increased triple-digit YoY. Retail goods had also grown significantly, almost threefold based in comparison to a year ago.

In addition, Visa’s data showed that one in five active Visa cardholders who did not shop online last year made their first online purchase during the first half of 2020.

Essential services, which include food and groceries, pharmaceutical and health products, and utilities contributed 30% of spend by cardholders who used e-commerce for the first time, followed by retail shopping at department stores and retail outlets.

Online purchases for business categories and professional services contributed 19% of the online spend by new e-commerce cardholders.

“We have witnessed a dramatic shift as more people adopt a more digital lifestyle,” Ng added.

“This means opportunities for online businesses are also growing. We launched the ‘Where You Shop Matters’ initiative a few months ago to encourage small businesses and merchants to embrace and embark on their digital transformation journey, including taking their businesses online. We believe this is critical to help them adapt, grow and thrive in this new normal, and support the nation’s digital transformation plans, as well as Bank Negara Malaysia’s cashless agenda,” he said.

Many Malaysians believe that this is a critical time for retailers and business owners to accept digital payments in order to adapt to today’s consumer behaviour. Based on the findings, 82% of consumers agreed that it is vital for retailers to accept digital payments, while 83% see the importance of having an online presence.

The Malaysian Reserve previously reported that 54% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have embarked on the digital journey this year amid the pandemic based on a survey by Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC).

MDEC COO Datuk Ng Wan Peng said many of those SMEs that have started adopting digitalisation intend to focus on front-end operations such as digital presence and marketing. — TMR