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Online banking may not yet be the norm in Malaysia, but it is showing signs of solid growth. According to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the country’s central bank, online banking transactions totaled MYR463.7 billion ($118.74 billion) in 2016, a 31.7% increase from MYR352.1 billion ($107.59 billion) in 2015.
Meanwhile, banking transactions carried out on mobile devices, which BNM counts as separate from online transactions, jumped by more than 60%, rising to MYR33.0 billion ($8.45 billion) last year from MYR20.6 billion ($6.29 billion) in 2015.
While mobile banking growth was strong, the fact that it makes up less than 10% of total transaction value is a bit surprising, given that internet users in the market are highly mobile. eMarketer estimates that 86% of Malaysia’s internet users are smartphone users, among the highest in the world.
A sizable minority of internet users in Malaysia participate in internet banking, according to a survey conducted by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in January 2016, the most recent data available. It found that more than one-third (36.2%) of respondents had conducted internet banking.
Despite displaying a willingness to bank online, other financial services have not yet caught on in Malaysia to any great degree. A report from DBS Bank and EY found that 2% or fewer of digital banking customers in the country had used a digital service for personal wealth management, lending or insurance in 2016.
Forget the notion that Gen X is a small market: It isn't. The real problem for marketers is that Xers—though now earning and spending more per household than other generations—are financially stressed. The good news? Their digital usage, along with their TV viewing, makes them eminently reachable.
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