Local Consumer Demand for Real-Time Payments as Pandemic Accelerates Digitisation

According to new research from ACI Worldwide and YouGov, more than half of consumers (52%) in Malaysia selected real-time payment methods – such as DuitNow – as a preferred way to pay in 2021, behind only cash (62%) and digital wallets requiring cash or card top-ups (62%).

This shift towards real-time payments has been dramatically accelerated by changing payment necessities and preferences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One third (32%) of consumers in Malaysia have reduced their usage of traditional payment methods such as cash, credit cards and debit cards since the onset of COVID-19. As a result, almost half (45%) are now using real-time payments more than they were prior to the pandemic.

“This fundamental shift in consumer demand and payment expectations sets forth a challenge for Southeast Asia’s banks, financial institutions and merchants,” said Leslie Choo, managing director – Asia, ACI Worldwide. “These organisations can ill-afford to put their modernisation projects on hold, despite the challenges caused by COVID-19. On the contrary, they can drive growth by joining the region’s emerging real-time payments ecosystem, which will improve their ability to innovate and transform while reducing the cost of infrastructure and operations.”

The ACI Worldwide and YouGov study also reveals how consumers in Malaysia expect the benefits of using real-time payments domestically to extend across borders once they begin to travel internationally again, as well as when they shop cross border. For future international travel, consumers have elevated expectations for the transparency, safety and convenience of their payments when compared to their travel experiences pre-COVID-19

While the number of Malaysian consumers who are making international eCommerce purchases has increased over the past year, consumers are looking for further guarantees about payments to encourage them to do so more in the future

“Unencumbered by legacy payment systems that can impede innovation in mature markets, countries in Southeast Asia can leverage robust domestic central payment infrastructures as the foundations for cross-border real-time payments, which will be a catalyst for growth and trade in the coming years.” ends Choo

Find out more about consumer real-time payment preferences, and about how financial institutions and merchants in Southeast Asia can become real-time-ready, in the full report: Real-Time Goes Mainstream

(This content is surmised from a press release)