Seventy-Four Per Cent of Malaysians Prefer Using Electronic Payments Over Cash: Visa Study


More Malaysians prefer to use electronic payments and are becoming less reliant on cash, according to the 2016 Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes survey.1  Seventy-four per cent of Malaysians prefer to make electronic payments as compared to cash, an increase of  eight per cent as compared to 2015.

Based on the study, 49 per cent of respondents also admitted to having more payment cards in their wallets now compared to five years ago. The main reasons for not carrying large amounts of cash include an increased habit of using payment cards and not feeling safe using cash.2

KB Ng, Visa Country Manager for Malaysia said: “We are pleased to see  a growing preference for electronic payments and shift away from cash among Malaysians. These research results confirm the trends we are seeing in the market with a steady increase in number of Visa debit and credit cards being issued, along with new payment solutions such as mobile wallets.

“In Malaysia, we have taken the lead to invest and introduce new innovative products and solutions such as Visa Token Service and Visa Checkout to promote the usage of electronic payments. Malaysians clearly appreciate the convenience, ease and security of using electronic payments, particularly with the introduction of Visa payWave. Visa payWave transactions have crossed the two million monthly transaction milestone and continue to grow more than 1,000 per cent year on year. We are confident that the continued growth of contactless payments will further accelerate the displacement of cash in Malaysia.”

In terms of payment habits and sentiments, 68 per cent of respondents shared that they are using electronic payments, such as mobile devices and wearables, more often and moving away from cash.3 Sixty-four per cent also said they find using cards safer than cash, with 60 per cent saying they would like payments to be automated, doing away with the physical process of paying for a product or service. Sixty-two per cent of them are also comfortable with the use of biometrics such as fingerprinting and face recognition for payment authentication.4

“Given the evolving landscape which has transformed the way consumers make payments,  Malaysians are clearly upbeat about technological advancements in payment solutions. We are heartened that technology savvy Malaysians are quick to recognise the benefits of using contactless cards, wearables and mobile payments as we continue to push to accelerate the growth of electronic payments in the country, in line with Bank Negara Malaysia’s goal for Malaysia to become a cashless society by the year 2020,” added KB.


1 SEA Consumer Payments Attitude Survey – Report for Malaysia. Conducted by Toluna on 500 Malaysians to gain insights and assess their attitudes towards cash and card usage, mobile banking, contactless payments, online shopping etc.
2 SEA Consumer Payments Attitude Survey – Report for Malaysia
3 SEA Consumer Payments Attitude Survey
4 SEA Consumer Payments Attitude Survey


About Visa
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit, or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations; however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit