Boosting usage of e-wallets in Malaysia – is WeChat Pay up to the task?

Pic Caption: Finance Minister Mr. Lim Guan Eng at WeChat Pay’s event

WeChat Pay, the payment feature of popular social communications platform, WeChat by Tencent, has revealed a showcase of future services and solutions that may come to Malaysian shores.

WeChat Pay Malaysia’s CEO, Jason Siew, confirmed that two services – WeChat Checkout and WeChat Scan Order and Pay will come to Malaysia this year.  

The second service is an online ordering service and would be particularly appealing to Malaysians who love their food; by just scanning a QR code with their mobile devices at the merchant’s outlet, an online menu would appear from which Malaysians can self-order their food and drink.

Siew had stressed that each WeChat Pay touchpoint would offer seamless, easy and convenient user experience, and the self-service element of ordering food via our personal mobile devices certainly offers this.

Our cashless future

Tencent International Business Group VP, Poshu Yeung had shared during his opening speech that Internet users in Malaysia are expected to reach 21.8 million by 2023. He pointed out that a majority of these Internet users would be conducting transactions like buying food, movie tickets, songs, flight tickets and so on, and all very likely from the convenience of their mobile devices.

“There is much room for growth in terms of how our services can be fully utilised,” he said adding that Tencent wants to facilitate Malaysia to be an advanced digital nation.

Sure enough, Malaysia is the first country outside Greater China, to welcome WeChat presence in the country, back in 2012.

The scene, so far

Cashless payment services like WeChat Pay however, took some time to take off and still hasn’t quite reached mass adoption stage, yet.

It is rumoured that there are 40 e-wallet providers, another cashless payment method, in Malaysia. According to a Nielsen study quoted by our Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng, 88-percent of respondents are familiar with the technology and despite this, only 10-percent of respondents use e-wallets to make payment.

Sixty-seven percent of Malaysians are using cashless payments, but they use other forms of cashless payments especially debit cards and online banking.

Mr. Lim Guan Eng who keynoted at the event, had observed that the use of cash in Malaysia is very high, but it is reducing.

On top of that, he acknowledged that digital payments like WeChat Pay can create a conducive environment for big data analytics and other Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) technologies like cloud, artificial intelligence and more.