Money has come a long way, from the barter system, where goods such as livestock and jewelery are exchanged, to the use of metals such as copper, silver and gold, and then currency systems such as banknotes and coins. rice field. And now, centuries later, digital technology is transforming the way we trade, rather than digging into physical banknote pockets, making more people more convenient with digital payment methods. However, while domestic payments today are nearly seamless, cross-border payments are still lagging behind in terms of cost, speed, and convenience.
From alternatives to essentials
We live in an on-demand world, and the Internet provides instant, convenient and seamless services for entertainment, health and financial services. For example, Grab has built a super app that provides convenient services for making digital payments, and companies such as Touch n Go are integrating their e-wallet services into their digital payment infrastructure.
Thanks to government regulatory support, the fintech industry has experienced rapid growth and progress in domestic banking. But there’s still a lot to do, especially in the area of money transfers. In fact, in Malaysia, a recent study commissioned by Wise found that high costs and long wait times remained the biggest challenges when it came to sending remittances.
These challenges for cross-border payments continue today as the historic financial system was built with a focus on domestic needs. Therefore, sending money to another country means that you have to transfer funds through many intermediary banks, which is a very inefficient arrangement, resulting in delays and high fees. increase.
How to drive cross-border transactions through innovation
Digital payments are accelerating globally, and this growth trajectory in Asia is huge. The penetration rate of E-wallets here is also much higher than in other regions.
The future path of the cross-border industry is the ability to innovate to meet changing customer needs and provide low-cost, convenient and secure services.
The days of long queues at banks and the need to go to a physical money transfer branch to transfer money are over. Consumers want to use their smartphones to trade money online or on the move.
Transfer speed is an important consideration for many consumers, with 61% of Malaysians saying it is an important factor in choosing an online money transfer service. According to the same survey, slow remittances, especially the long time it takes for remittances to reach recipients, are a major concern for 57% of Malaysians.
A whopping 50% of Malaysians find the high costs associated with remittances a challenge, demonstrating the significant need for cheaper and more transparent options. Traditional methods of sending money abroad through traditional financial institutions usually involve high fees and hidden fees. In many cases, the total cost will not be known until the transaction is completed, mainly due to the disruption of the remittance fee structure, which is a problem solved by fintech companies like Wise.
As digital transactions evolve, so do cybercrime cases.
Malaysia’s Digital Economy Corporation has made this one of its focus areas and is working with ecosystem players to enhance its security solutions.
As the fintech sector advances, especially in the payments sector, where players have emerged to solve diverse needs and governments have collaborated to drive industry growth through real-time payment initiatives such as DuitNow. Now it’s an exciting time.
The innovation-backed industry is at the forefront of the payments revolution, which has just begun to provide consumers with the right level of experience.
This article was contributed by Lim Paik Wan, Country Manager of Wise Malaysia.
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