Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Around 75 percent of Malaysian businesses have utilized at least one fintech product or service over the past 12 months, according to a study by global professional accounting organization CPA Australia.

Among the forms of fintech, mobile payments and digital wallets were the most widely adopted in Malaysia in the past 12 months, with 63 percent of businesses surveyed indicating such usage. 

Furthermore, the study revealed the various reasons which attracted business owners to fintech. About 56 percent cited that the main reason was the increase in business efficiency, with more than five in 10 respondents identifying it as an important benefit. Meanwhile, 40 percent said that fintech allowed them to adapt to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, while over a third, or about 34 percent saw the use of fintech as a way of reducing costs

“The increased popularity of mobile payments and digital wallets goes hand in glove with the Government’s efforts to increase the use of e-wallets amongst the B40 and M40 through cash transfer programs, as part of its transition to a high value-added, high-income economy”, said Bryan Chung, chairman of the digital transformation committee at CPA Australia Malaysia division.

However, despite the growing trend of Malaysian businesses adopting fintech, one in four surveyed said that they do not expect to use fintech in the next 12 months, with the majority of such are companies with 50 or fewer employees.

Cybersecurity and data privacy were cited as the top concerns. 

“Small businesses may not have a sound understanding of the benefits of fintech to their organizations. More needs to be done to improve small businesses’ understanding of what fintech solutions might be good for their businesses,” said Chung.

Chung adds, “Greater consideration also needs to be given to increasing technology expertise at the board and senior management level to ensure better understanding of risks and benefits of fintech. Including fintech in the terms of reference of a board-level committee should help the highest levels of companies to stay informed of new trends in this type of technology.”