Malaysian consumers prefer to use cash over credit card

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 13 Feb 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians are among the most cautious people in the world – six out of 10 Malaysian consumers prefer to use cash and not credit cards in transactions.

A global survey by Nielsen shows that Malaysians are concerned about cyber-safety and are more hesitant to shop online or make available their payment card details on a smartphone or tablet device although personal information is protected.

Based on the global Survey of Saving and Investment Strategies by Nielsen, covering 30,000 Internet respondents in 60 countries, 60% of Malaysian consumers said they preferred to pay in cash.

While 60% of Malaysians preferred to use cash, 20% preferred credit cards, debit cards (14%) and prepaid cards (2%), Nielsen, the global provider of information and analytics on consumer trends, said in a statement yesterday.

This preference for cash was even stronger in the Philippines (74%), Thailand (68%) and Vietnam (61%).

“In general, reliance on cash is linked to lower gross domestic product growth in developing economies.

“Hence, increasing reliance on other payment methods is particularly important in these countries in South-East Asia,” Luca Griseri, head of Nielsen’s Financial Services in Singapore and Malaysia, said.

“Presently there are many options available for Malaysian consumers who choose to pay without cash.

“However, it is important to understand the barriers and reasons why many consumers in Malaysia prefer cash over credit cards.”

When it comes to cyber-safety concerns, more than half of Malaysian respondents or 55% will not shop online.

Efforts to decrease reliance on cash needs to involve different agents.

Payment providers could educate consumers about the real costs of using cash and about safety and the benefits of using other payment alternatives.

Griseri said: “The Government can educate citizens on using non-cash payment responsibly and contri­bute to the financial well-being of its citizens.”

Nielsen’s information also shows that 42% of Malaysian respondents use one payment card on a regular basis, while 40% use two, and 11% three. Only 6% of respondents regularly use more than three cards. — Bernama

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