According to a 2022 Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study, which looked at cashless habits within Southeast Asia, digital payments have become a preferred payment method of choice among consumers in Malaysia, with seven out of 10 Malaysian consumers now actively using contactless card payments—a substantial increase from the 56% of consumers who used it a year prior.
The data, which was recently highlighted in The Star, demonstrates a remarkable surge in the adoption of contactless payment systems among consumers in Malaysia, with more than 90% of the population saying they’re familiar with the technology.
Visa’s Malaysia country manager, Ng Kong Boon, hailed Malaysia as one of the most developed contactless payment markets in the Asia-Pacific region, with eight out of 10 Visa transactions being contactless. Boon further noted that contactless payments have experienced remarkable growth in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. For context, only three in 10 Visa transactions were contactless in 2019, illustrating the rapid pace of adoption among Malaysian consumers.
The Visa study, which surveyed 1,000 Malaysians ages 18 to 65, also found that 92% of respondents have used credit or debit card payments, and more than three-quarters have attempted to adopt a cashless lifestyle, with 67% saying they’ve tried to go completely cashless for a few days.
Over the years, the shift to contactless payments has become more prevalent worldwide, with attempts to go cashless particularly higher among younger consumers. According to Visa’s research, Malaysia will become a predominantly cashless society by 2030, with a majority of consumers relying on cashless methods for their daily transactions.
The shift that we’re seeing towards contactless payments reflects broader global trends in the finance, fintech, and tech sectors. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of cashless transactions worldwide, with consumers prioritizing safety, convenience, and hygiene. The increasing penetration of smartphones and the proliferation of digital wallets have also made cashless payments more accessible and user-friendly.
But it’s important to note that while significant strides have been made—and we continue to explore the future of cashless payments—there’s still a ways to go before we can expect a fully cashless society.