Mobile transactions are expected to outstrip other forms of online transactions in Malaysia in 2018. Payment services provider iPay88 Holding Sdn Bhd noted that mobile online transactions grew from just under 2.0 million in January 2017 to 3.5 million in December 2017.
In comparison, desktop-based online transactions appear to be stagnating, fluctuating between 0.8 to 1.2 million per month in 2017.
“Last year, online banking was the preferred payment method for e-commerce transactions on the back of Malaysian consumers’ rising purchasing power as well as the rapidly expanding smartphone penetration across the country,” said Chan Kok Long, executive direction, iPay88.
“This year, the driver for m-commerce will be the proliferation of creative mobile applications for online shoppers that combine location services, retail customer intelligence, payment solutions, and social media experience.”
According to the company’s data analysis, shoppers are increasingly using mobile devices to shop instead of desktops. The trend of m-commerce started in 2015 and overtook desktop e-commerce in 2Q16. “Our system saw a significant record high of 9.3 million Internet traffic from mobile shoppers in 4Q17, triple that of desktop traffic,” Chan said.
Smartphone penetration is still growing in Malaysia. A 2017 comScore report said Malaysian digital users between the ages of 15 to 24 mostly accessed the Internet via mobile only while those aged 24 to 35 were multiplatform (desktop and mobile).
Payment with mobile phones can also go beyond online transactions. “Retail shops and hawkers can also accept mobile payment using QR codes. The use of such e-wallets will eventually bring about a cashless society. I believe we are on the cusp of a cashless society tsunami,” Chan predicted.
iPay88’s data analysis uncovered some trends in online retail:
• Transportation services grew 276%
• Personal and skin care grew 179%
• Delivery services grew177%
• Virtual/Instant services (VOIP, SMS, prepaid, top up) grew 159%
“Transportation is becoming a major segment of the online business-to-consumer (B2C) market. This is not unusual considering the increased usage of mobility services apps,” said Chan.
Consumers prefer to pay via online banking instead of credit cards. In 2017, iPay88 recorded 2.5 to 4.4 million online banking payments each month, compared to 1.3 to 2.4 million for credit cards.
“This is not to say credit cards are going obsolete for online payment and shopping in Malaysia,” Chan said. “Online banking is more attractive now because it does not involve credit interest and is available to non-credit card holders. This is also generally positive because it advocates the habit of spending with what you have instead of buying on credit.”