Bringing digital banking to the next level

Future of payments: Digital payments is the future, as Malaysia moves towards a cashless society.

KUALA LUMPUR: The world’s largest leader in digital payments, Visa, is looking to introduce a better user interface and a new experience in digital banking services in Malaysia, as the rising number of new digital commerce users sees the country moving towards a cashless society.

According to the Visa Consumer Payment Attitude Study 2020, Malaysians will continue using cashless payments, shopping at big online marketplaces and supporting home-based and local businesses, as personal safety becomes a priority during the pandemic.

As such, Visa Malaysia country manager Ng Kong Boon said the group is keen to create value for its customers’ banking needs, as more Malaysians prefer cashless payments compared to the pre-Covid-19 period.

Improving the journey: Visa is eyeing better user interface or experience in digital banking, says Ng.Improving the journey: Visa is eyeing better user interface or experience in digital banking, says Ng.

As new full-fledged virtual banks will enter the banking space next year, he said Visa is looking to create a better user interface for its customers’ virtual banking needs.

“This could be in the form of providing a better user interface or experience in digital banking,” he shared.

Although companies sometimes overlook user interface, it seems to be among the key reasons that ensure an influx in traffic, which draws in customers and keeps them there.

The user experience of payment services would help create value, as the banking landscape in the country transforms towards full-fledged digital services.

Meanwhile, Ng said new upcoming digital banks can leverage Visa’s payment debit and credit card acceptance, worldwide fund transfer, as well as value-added services for customers.

For traditional banks, he noted that the payment provider is looking to work with its conventional banking partners to improve the user interface and experience on its existing solutions as well.

“At Visa, we have been actively working towards building innovative digital solutions for our partners and consumers.

“We remain open to working with all partners, be it traditional banks that are building digital banking capabilities or start-ups that are creating new digital banking services, to serve the underserved segments,” he said.

During the Virtual Digital Day on April 27, Visa discussed creating value with virtual banks together with its fintech partners.

It announced a partnership extension with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to accelerate the digital economy and build a digital nation.

Working with ecosystem partners: Pictured is MDEC CEO Surina Shukri, speaking at the Virtual Day 2021. Visa is working with MDEC in a partnership extension to accelerate the digital economy and build a digital nation.Working with ecosystem partners: Pictured is MDEC CEO Surina Shukri, speaking at the Virtual Day 2021. Visa is working with MDEC in a partnership extension to accelerate the digital economy and build a digital nation.

The same study also revealed that more than 65% of Malaysians are interested in digital banking solutions, with the onset of the pandemic rapidly increasing digital payment adoption, due to the availability of seamless and convenient digital solutions.

Based on VisaNet data, one in five active Visa cardholders who did not make an e-commerce purchase in 2019 made their first online shopping purchase during the first half of last year.

To help smaller businesses address the shift in consumer behaviour, Visa launched the Where You Shop Matters initiative that empowers micro and small medium enterprises to embrace digital payments.

Merchants featured on the platform saw an increase of 5%-11% in sales since joining the initiative.

Since the initiative’s launch, Visa Malaysia has onboarded 84 merchants on the platform and saw more than 400,000 unique visitors on the Where You Shop Matters website, including the Merchant Directory and Small Business Hub.

As the country moves towards post-pandemic recovery, Ng pointed out that the current way businesses and consumers interact during Covid-19 has brought about a long-term shift in lifestyle and consumption patterns.

“As society continues to minimise physical interactions to combat the spread of Covid-19, this subsequently reflects the increasing preference for contactless and digital payment methods,” he said.

Pointing to the study, he said that around 45% of Malaysians have made it a habit to avoid cash, while businesses are “finding it much less of an option and more of a necessity” to find a bigger purpose in introducing digital payment solutions to meet current and future consumer demands.

Moving forward, Ng said the group is committed to helping businesses pivot in times of uncertainty, especially as the country enters an important recovery phase.

“Our seamless and hassle-free digital payment infrastructure has helped countless clients embrace continued business opportunities,” he said.

“We will continue to onboard new merchants on our digital platforms. At the very core of our seamless digital payment solutions, we want to offer speed, convenience and security to help businesses thrive.”

Given that 98% of Malaysians have shown interest in shopping at local retailers to support business recovery, Ng said the group would continue to grow its merchant base on the platform to allow consumers to discover more deals and incentivise their spending using their Visa cards.

“As for merchants, we will continue to partner with fintech enablers to offer tools and services that can assist them in growing their online presence and thriving in their business and, in turn, spur the nation’s digital economy,” he said.

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