Visa put out a statement highlighting that “over 74% of Malaysians are aware, and 65% of Malaysians are interested in using digital banking services”. According to Visa, this is “a positive outlook for applicants who had submitted their applications for the digital banking licences issued by Bank Negara Malaysia”.
“In the past 18 months, the nation has seen a significant acceleration in digital adoption due to the pandemic. Many Malaysians have changed the way they work, pay, and even bank,” wrote Visa.
Digital banking is essentially a service that combines both online and mobile banking services under one umbrella. And, no, companies that offer digital services like CIMB and Maybank do not count as they are considered traditional banks.
The biggest digital banks in the world right now include Nubank, Chime, and Sofi. There hasn’t yet been a digital banking service in Malaysia, but many companies have already applied for a licence—including Grab, Aeon and Sunway.
The deadline to apply for digital banking licenses in Malaysia has passed last month, and Bank Negara is expected to issue five licenses by the first quarter of 2022. But the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study showed that Malaysians have already expressed interest in the digital banking services provided by renowned brands (71%), financial services brands (65%), and even new start-ups (60%).
The study showed that Malaysians look forward to digital banking for basic needs like bill payments (78%), transferring money to family and friends (69%), payment at retail locations (62%) and deposits and withdrawals (61%). Malaysians are also motivated to switch to a digital bank for better rewards (78%) and lower costs (72%).
“We believe it will take the collective effort of the government, existing traditional banks and institutions applying for digital banking licences to create better financial inclusion for all, not just the affluent, but also the underserved and unserved population,” said Ng Kong Boon, Country Manager for Visa Malaysia.
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