At Least 6-In-10 Malaysians Prefer Contactless Payments Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

at least 6-in-10 malaysians prefer contactless payments amid covid-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has made at least 6-in-10 Malaysians to depend more heavily on the various forms of contactless payment, according to the UOB ASEAN Consumer Sentiment Study.

Payments made through mobile banking are consumers’ most popular choice with 69% of Malaysian respondents saying they used them more frequently during the pandemic. 

Other contactless payment and transaction services that have become preferred payment options in Malaysia include Quick Response (QR) code payments (65%), internet banking (65%) and mobile wallet debit or credit cards (60%).

Although Malaysians are keen to continue using contactless payments, two-thirds of the respondents are still likely to have used cash at least once a week. 

The study showed that about 9-in-10 consumers are willing to go entirely cashless if more initiatives are put in place to support digital payments. 

The improvements that Malaysians expect include: 

  • A wider variety of cashless payment options (94%) 
  • Better security (94%) 
  • Greater ease of use (93%)

Ronnie Lim, Managing Director and Country Head of Personal Financial Services, UOB Malaysia, said the findings reflect consumers’ preference for payment solutions that are convenient and are able to meet their everyday needs, especially during the pandemic when physical contact has to be minimised.

“The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of contactless payments in Malaysia. From what we have seen, customers prefer to use mobile banking service to make fund transfers and to pay their bills. According to UOB Malaysia’s data, DuitNow was the most used digital payment function on the app, accounting for 74% of all digital transactions carried out in the first eleven months of the year,” he said.

The study also found that 55% of Malaysian respondents are spending more during the pandemic, while 27% say the exact opposite is happening.

When asked about the items that they had been spending more on since COVID-19 restrictions came into effect, 67% of consumers said groceries and 63% said food deliveries, while half of them reported increased spending for internet services, online learning and health supplements. 

Meanwhile, the survey showed that the top categories in Malaysia for reduced expenditure are travel (68%), jewellery (57%), clothes (49%) and homeware and furniture (45%).

How have your spending habits changed over the pandemic?