Cash is no longer king for payments in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Seven out of 10 Malaysian consumers are now actively using contactless card payments, says Visa Inc.

According to the 2022 Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study, more than 90% of Malaysians are familiar with contactless payment systems, with almost 70% of them using it, an increase from 56% recorded in the previous year.

The top categories that Malaysians spend on using contactless payments included supermarkets (53%), retail stores (46%), and restaurants (44%).

Visa’s Malaysia country manager Ng Kong Boon said Malaysia has become one of the most developed contactless payments markets in Asia Pacific, where eight in 10 Visa transactions are contactless.

“Compared with 2019, only three in 10 Visa transactions made were contactless payments – contactless payments have grown significantly over the past few years, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he told Bernama.

The study, conducted with 1,000 Malaysians aged 18 to 65, is part of a regional research project conducted in South-East Asia with 6,550 consumers across seven markets – Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

About 92% of Malaysian respondents indicated that they have used credit or debit card payments. In addition, more than three in four have attempted to go cashless with 67% having tried to go cashless for at least a few days.

“Close to 50% of Malaysian consumers said they are carrying less cash in their wallets compared with before.

“The top reasons included using more contactless card or mobile payments, more places adopting cashless payments, and fear of carrying cash as it may get lost or stolen,” said the report.

The use of cashless payments has increased over the years via contactless cards, QR payments or online and in-app payments.

“Attempts to go cashless are relatively high in Malaysia, driven by younger consumers such as Gen Z and Gen Y.

“Malaysia is expected to be a cashless society by 2030, meaning the majority of consumers will be using cashless methods and no longer relying on cash for their daily transactions,” the report added.

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