More than half of consumers (52 per cent) in Malaysia selected real-time payment methods – such as DuitNow – as a preferred way to pay this year, behind only cash (62 per cent) and digital wallets requiring cash or card top-ups (62 per cent).
“This fundamental shift in consumer demand and payment expectations sets forth a challenge for Southeast Asia’s banks, financial institutions and merchants,” said Asia, ACI Worldwide, managing director, Leslie Choo (pictured above) said in a statement.
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 per cent) 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 per cent) are now using real-time payments more than prior to the pandemic.
Due to the rapid technological change, consumers now expect mobile-first and real-time experiences — however, payments have often lagged.
The development of real-time payment systems enables consumers, merchants and financial institutions to pay friends and customers, settle bills and transfer money instantaneously.
While cash has always represented an “immediate” mode of payment, the advent of real-time payment rails brings this concept into the digital age with faster settlement periods, notifications and consolidated reporting.
“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.”
“A focus on payments modernisation is vital for financial institutions that want to ride the wave of the region’s biggest and most transformative payments trend — the emergence of a cross-border, real-time payments ecosystem.”
“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,” added Choo.