Seven in ten consumers in Malaysia are now using contactless cards for payments, said a recent study done by global payment firm Visa.

According to Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study, more than 90 percent of Malaysians are familiar with contactless payments, and almost 70 percent of them are using contactless payments in the country.

This is an increase from 56 percent compared to the previous year.

The top categories that Malaysians have been using contactless payments include supermarkets (53 percent), retail stores (46 percent) and restaurants (44 percent).

Based on the study, Malaysian consumers also indicated that contactless payment is their most preferred payment method when paying for their groceries at the supermarket, retail shopping and making purchases for entertainment.

The study highlighted that Malaysians are becoming more cashless, given card payments have overtaken cash usage in the country.

Majority of Malaysians indicated that they have used credit or debit card payments (92 percent) compared to 86 percent who have used cash.

In addition, more than three in four have attempted to go cashless.

The study also showed close to 70 percent (67 percent) of consumers in the country have tried to go cashless for at least a few days.

Close to 50 percent of Malaysian consumers said that they are carrying less cash in their wallets compared to before.

The top reasons for carrying less cash include using more contactless card or mobile payments, more places adopting cashless payments and fear of carrying cash as it may be lost or stolen.

Visa Country Manager for Malaysia Ng Kong Boon said that Malaysia has become one of the most developed contactless payments markets in Asia Pacific, where eight in 10 Visa transactions are contactless payments.

“We are proud to share that contactless payments have grown significantly over the past few years, especially when we compare its growth since the pandemic,” he said.

According to him, in 2019, only three in ten Visa transactions were contactless payments in Malaysia.

“Over the years, we have worked with our merchants to expand contactless payments acceptance across everyday spend categories in Malaysia, and issuers to educate consumers about the benefits of contactless payments and we are seeing great results,” he said.

According to him, Visa’s mobile pay partners launching mobile contactless payments in Malaysia have also supported this growth in usage.

“Consumers value the convenience of being able to tap and pay using their mobile devices and embrace it as a secure way to pay given every transaction is tokenized,” he added.

The study was conducted by CLEAR on behalf of Visa across seven Southeast Asian countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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