Although the technology isn’t exactly new to our country, ‘e-wallets’ quickly grew to become something of a household name after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd executive chairman Jack Ma gave an extensive review on it here in Malaysia.
Some of the technology’s most distinctive features include QR codes that allow users to make transactions using nothing more than their smartphones; a feature that is particularly helpful for micro-merchants such as street vendors and small grocery stores.
E-wallet technology is also likely to propel aspects of convenience such as peer-to-peer transfers, marketing promotions, and bill splitting. Indeed, Touch ‘n Go Sdn Bhd recently made headlines when the company announced a collaborative effort with Alipay to create a mobile e-wallet platform for Malaysians.
MOL Global Inc,a leading e-payment enabler for online goods and services, has also recently announced that it would be introducing their own versions of virtual wallets. “Now we have mobile top-up, game payment and lifestyle products. Soon there will be bill payment, money remittance, etc,” states MOL group CEO, Preecha Praipattarakul.
A big part of why e-wallets are making headway within the Malaysian commerce market has to do with its unique ability to aid small business owners as iPay88 co-founder and executive director Chan Kok Long rightly put it: “Merchants used to complain that it did not cost viable for them to accept cards for transactions of small amounts as they must pay the cost of installing terminals. But with a mobile application, a smartphone is the terminal. Just download the application and with a few clicks you’re done with the terminal setup.”
According to the Financial Stability and Payments Systems Report 2016, Malaysians made only 3.4 transactions using debit cards last year, up 17.24% from 2.9 in 2015. However, Bank Negara Malaysia has targeted 30 transactions per capita by 2020. Credit card was still the most popular mode of e-payment with 97.5 transactions from 82.5 in 2015.