Majority of M’sians can go cashless for over a week: Visa study

PETALING JAYA: The majority of Malaysian consumers (55%) can successfully live for more than a week without using cash, which represents a 13% increase compared with the previous year, according to the latest Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study.

The pandemic has 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 are likely not to use cash after the pandemic.

Visa Malaysia country manager Ng Kong Boon (pix) said from the insights it gathered from the study over the years, the shifts towards using more digital payments in Malaysia are 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 are confident of going about their daily live without cash for up to a week.

Malaysian consumers believe the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the time it will take for the country to become a cashless society. In the current circumstances, they believe a cashless society could be a possibility by 2025. If the pandemic had not happened, respondents believe a cashless Malaysia would not be possible until 2028.

In addition, Malaysians believe that a cashless society 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, eliminating the need to queue at banks (52%), among others.

The study also revealed that there is growth in cashless payment adoption, especially via QR payments (60%), mobile wallets (54%), and contactless cards (51%). This is primarily seen in categories such as bill payments, supermarket, retail shopping, purchases at convenience stores, and food and dining.

There is also an increased preference among consumers to shop at merchants that accept cashless payment options instead of cash only options. There is also high interest towards cashless innovations such as self-service checkouts (64%), automated app payments (64%), and biometric payments through fingerprint or facial authentication (60%).

The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study was conducted by CLEAR on behalf of Visa in September 2021 across eight Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia. The total sample size is 7,500 including 1,000 consumers in Malaysia aged 18-65, with a minimum income cut-off of RM2,000 a month.