Visa Says Malaysia is the Next Big Mobile Payments Market

February 20, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Finding the next big growth market is a challenge for pretty much anybody, and mobile payments firms are no different.

Trying to find the next major new market to step into is a balancing act; go in too soon and no one’s interested. Go in too late and all your competitors are in place and dominating the field.

A new report from Visa, conducted by YouGov, says that now may be the right time to push on a new growth market in Malaysia.

The report—the Visa Consumer Payments Attitudes study—says that about 70 percent of users would use a mobile wallet system, whether it be Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or something altogether different.

Malaysians are also increasingly optimistic about a cashless society, with mobile payments stepping in to replace cash and cards.

Infrastructure isn’t much of a problem either; around 71 percent of Malaysian adults have a smartphone, and online connectivity seems to be doing well.

Awareness is also high, as 83 percent know about contactless payments, with just over one in three—34 percent—having tried it personally.

There’s not just awareness, but full on interest; 68 percent would rather use contactless payments over cash, and that’s a number up 34 percent from last year.

KB Ng, Visa’s country manager for Malaysia, noted “We are seeing double-digit month-on-month growth in contactless payments and remain positive that the introduction of mobile payments such as Samsung Pay and MaybankPay would continue to fuel this growth.”

Basically, it’s not out of line to see a lot more mobile payment use ahead. The numbers are there in grand style; users are aware of these systems, have an interest in using them, and the infrastructure is there to support such systems’ use.

There’s even a healthy early-adopter percentage suggesting that this market could take off in rapid fashion. Add those all together and it could mean an iron that’s more than hot enough to strike with positive results.

Will Malaysia be the next big thing in mobile payments? That’s not immediately clear. The ingredients are certainly there for an explosive market in mobile payments, even if the overall size of the country is a limiting factor. Only time will tell just how big a move this really is.