MALAYSIANS are getting used to the precautionary steps to avoid further spreading COVID-19 to the point that most of us have formed habits to limit physical exposure around people, including wearing a face mask, avoiding crowded spaces and shared services, making payments digitally, shopping online, as well as supporting local or home-based businesses.
Additionally, as shopping at physical outlets continue to reduce, many Malaysians have opted to shop on digital commerce platforms.
According to a Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study, online shopping through mobile applications and websites grew by 83% while shopping via direct delivery over phone orders increased by 65%. Malaysians are also increasing their shopping activities at online marketplaces (48%) and home-based businesses (44%).
The study also showed that more than four in 10 Malaysians shopped online through websites or apps for the first time and more than three in 10 made their first purchase online using social media channels.
“The pandemic has accelerated the nation towards a cashless society as we see more new users of digital commerce and more Malaysians carrying less cash in their wallets compared to pre-COVID-19 period,” explained Visa Malaysia country manager Ng Kong Boon.
He also pointed out that based on VisaNet data, one in five active Visa cardholders who did not make an e-commerce purchase in 2019 made their first online shopping purchase during the first half of last year.
“In addition, the study also showed that the pandemic fuelled a 63% increase in contactless card payments amongst contactless payment users.
“As Malaysians become more particular about physical hygiene, contactless payments will enable them to transact in a secure and seamless environment. This is an opportunity for the country to grow more cashless payments across a wider spread of everyday categories in the year to come,” Ng said.
In the hope that the pandemic will soon be under control, wanderlust consumers see travel as the top category that they most look forward to spending on when borders reopen.
On this, the study showed that 43% of Malaysians look forward to making international trips post COVID-19. 30% of them also anticipate spending on domestic travel and 14% would like to do staycations in their own cities. – June 24, 2021