PayNet on track to contribute to tourism growth

At the launch of PayNet’s cross-border digital payment collaboration with Alipay+.

PETALING JAYA: Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet) expects to enable cross-border digital payments across the Asian region in the next two years and it is set to facilitate the targeted 23.5 million international tourist arrivals for Visit Malaysia 2026.

This is in line with the group’s new collaboration with Ant Group Alipay+ which is said to provide tourists the convenience of travelling cashless and conduct digital payments via supported wallets and utilising PayNet’s DuitNow QR system.

PayNet group chief executive officer Farhan Ahmad said the collaboration would simultaneously help small merchants in Malaysia while contributing to Malaysia’s tourism industry growth.

“Just by having the ability to spend freely and easily in a safe manner will help the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) at a macro level,” he told the media after the launch of PayNet’s cross-border digital payment collaboration with Alipay+.

He said purchases tend to be limited to only larger merchants, department stores and shopping malls as the majority of tourists visiting the country would usually carry an international credit card.

“Smaller merchants on the other hand only accept QR payment, so gearing for Visit Malaysia 2026, we want to open up more channels for tourists coming in and pay with whatever digital wallet they have,” Farhan added.

He said in a statement that the collaboration could not have been materialised at a better time as the Malaysian tourism industry is back on a steady growth path and will be further energised by Visit Malaysia 2026.

On another note, he said the platform will allow real time exchange rates to be displayed, which will enable users to view the exact amount paid in their own native currency.

It was disclosed that no extra payments or service fees will be charged to the user when using the cross-border digital payment system.

Farhan said every country has its own pricing schemes and as to make the digital payment a success, many players are involved namely the merchant, service providers as well as banks.

“All these things require money, so these people have their own mechanism to monetise payments,”

He then said that there is no intention of imposing additional costs to each payment, but there will be costs associated with domestic payments in each country.

“Malaysia is actually the lowest cost by a long margin for any other country in the region, namely Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and China,” he added.

He said moving forward, PayNet will be working on extensive campaigns to promote the usage of this cross-border payment function.

Ant Group vice-president of global strategic partnerships and investments Douglas Feagin said Malaysia has is one of the top travel destinations, regionally and globally.

“In the recent Chinese Global Week, Malaysia ranks second globally in growth of transaction, with transaction numbers surpassing the same period in 2019,” he said during his speech.

He stated that intra-Asia travel is expected to grow significantly in the next five years, particularly within South-East Asia, as study found that offline tourism spending will grow a remarkable 334% by 2027, contributing more than US$170bil to the economies of South-East Asia, Japan and South Korea.

“Average tourist spending will also double from US$877 in 2016 to US$1,500 in 2025,” he said following a study conducted by Ant Group and International Data Corp study on cross-border payment potential in Asia. Following this launch, inbound travellers will be able to use supported wallets and make digital payments to PayNet’s network of over 1.8 million merchants throughout the country.

As for outbound Malaysian travellers, the acceptance of DuitNow QR is said to be rolled out from 2024 onwards.

The supported e-wallets include Ant Group’s Alipay from the Chinese mainland, AlipayHK from Hong Kong, HelloMoney from the Philippines, Hipay from Mongolia, Mpay from Macau, Naver Pay from South Korea, Toss Pay from South Korea, and TrueMoney from Thailand.

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