KUALA LUMPUR (May 12): More than seven in 10 Malaysians are supportive of the country becoming a cashless society and 62% believe it can be achieved within the next five years, according to a study by Visa Inc.
The top three benefits cited by consumers in opting for a cashless society are that it will ease the tracking financial records, remove the hassle of having to queue at banks, and enable the country to become more efficient, Visa said in a statement today.
The study also showed that 69% of Malaysian respondents are planning to use cashless payment methods more often, and move away from cash. This trend is more apparent among the affluent segment, where 77% indicated interest to do so.
Visa said the top reasons for the potential increase in digital payment usage are convenience and wider acceptance of digital payments in the country.
On top of that, nearly two in five respondents stated that they were carrying less cash compared to two years ago. About 69% of respondents cited this was due to more merchants adopting cashless payments, and 65% indicated it was due to safety concerns when carrying cash.
Contactless card payments are also gaining momentum in the country, Visa country manager for Malaysia Ng Kong Boon said in the statement.
He said Malaysia is one of the fastest-growing countries in Asia-Pacific in terms of contactless penetration.
Based on the study, 65% of Malaysian respondents have used contactless payments, and 85% of them make contactless payments at least once a week. Meanwhile, 82% of respondents have also been using contactless payments more frequently compared to two years ago, said Visa.
Malaysians believe that contactless payments enable them to not carry cash around and is a faster payment mode compared to other solutions, said Ng.
“Despite the growth in digital payment usage by Malaysians, there are still tremendous opportunities in Malaysia for cash displacement. We are seeing a proliferation of various payment solutions being introduced in Malaysia, which may accelerate the use of digital payments,” he added.
Ng, however, noted that this may cause the payment industry to be more fragmented and pointed out that it is crucial for digital payment providers to work closely with banks, merchants and the financial technology (fintech) community to ensure the solutions are interoperable to drive greater adoption in Malaysia.