The world’s leader in digital payments, VISA, has released its latest findings that show a majority of Malaysian consumers (55%) can successfully live for more than a week without using cash. According to the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes 2021 study, this represents a 13% increase compared to 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also prompted Malaysian consumers to choose digital payments over cash in the longer term, where more than one in four of the respondents (28%) said they were not likely to use cash post-pandemic.
Visa Malaysia country manager Ng Kong Boon said: “It is clear that events in the past years have caused a significant change in the way we live and work. The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and how Malaysians choose to pay and be paid. At Visa, we are following the change in consumer behaviour closely. Based on the insights we have gathered from the study over the years, the shift towards using more digital payments in Malaysia is here to stay.”
Based on the study, more than seven in 10 Malaysians (74%) have tried going cashless over the past year. For those who had never tried going cashless, half (50%) said they were confident to live their daily lives without cash for up to a week.
Malaysian consumers believe the Covid-19 pandemic had accelerated the time it would take for the country to become a cashless society, it was found. In the current circumstances, they believe a cashless society can be a possibility by 2025. If the pandemic had not happened, respondents thought a cashless Malaysia would not be possible until 2028.
Additionally, Malaysians believe that a cashless society also brings a number of benefits, such as curbing the spread of the virus (58%), providing users with the ability to track financial records easily (54%), lowering the risk of theft (52%), offering users a hassle-free experience and eliminating the need to queue at banks (52%).
The study also revealed that there had been a growth in cashless payment adoption, especially via QR payments (60%), ewallets (54%) and contactless cards (51%).
This is primarily seen in categories such as bill payments, supermarkets, retail shopping, purchases at convenience stores as well as food and dining. There is also an increased preference among consumers to shop at merchants that accept cashless payment options instead of cash only.
There is also high interest in cashless innovations, such as self-service checkouts (64%), automated app payments (64%) and biometric payments through fingerprint or facial authentication (60%).
The study was conducted by CLEAR on behalf of Visa in September last year across eight South-East Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The total sample size was 7,500 consumers, including 1,000 in Malaysia aged between 18 and 65, with a minimum income of RM2,000.
“As the world’s leader in digital payments, we are excited to see a significant shift in consumer behaviours and Malaysia becoming a less-cash society. We are delighted to be able to share these findings and will continue working with our clients, partners and stakeholders in the industry to leverage the power of our network to enable individuals, businesses and economies to thrive,” Ng concluded.
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