Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The 8th edition of the e-Conomy SEA report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company has noted that domestic demand will drive economic growth in Malaysia with household spending, employment and wages on the rise. It also noted that online travel is growing 49% YoY – fastest of all the digital economy sectors – reaching $4b in gross merchandise value (GMV).

According to the report, Malaysia has the fastest-growing transport and food delivery sector in SEA. The sector grew 16%, boosted by Malaysian commuters’ return to offline activities and the continued preference for food delivery. 

It also added that even though foot traffic in malls has recovered to pre-pandemic levels and the food and beverage industry is experiencing an uptick, Malaysian consumers have held onto the digital habits that make their lives easier, such as food delivery and e-commerce. 

Meanwhile, e-commerce growth is flattening after growing 4% between 2021 and 2022 from pandemic-driven growth, but it remains Malaysia’s biggest digital economy sector at $13b, accounting for 57% of the total GMV. E-commerce is seeing high adoption in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. 

However, there is a persistent gap between demand and supply in other areas of Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, which presents an opportunity for e-commerce players to expand in those areas.

In terms of digital financial services (DFS) adoption, the irreversible offline-to-online behavior shift continues to drive growth in DFS adoption, and cash is no longer king with QR codes and other forms of digital payments becoming ubiquitous. Digital payments are the biggest value driver within the DFS categories in Malaysia – $165b GTV in 2023 – boosted by the government’s support for digital payments adoption and distributing benefits to lower-income communities through e-wallets. This has placed Malaysia as the 2nd biggest digital payment market in SEA in 2023.

It also noted that digital wealth grew 61% YoY – fastest of all the DFS categories – and is expected to be the second largest DFS sector in Malaysia by 2030. The increasing interest towards digital wealth presents a lucrative opportunity for established financial services institutions to retain high-net-worth customers. 

As the competition between DFS players intensifies, pure-play fintechs have extended their lending services to the underbanked segment, while established financial services institutions have been quick to shift their large existing customer bases to digitalised services. 

Lastly, Malaysia has seen good progress on digital inclusion, making inroads into rural areas to bridge connectivity gaps. The percentage of households with internet access saw an increase from 76% to 97% for urban and 49% to 89% for rural, within the time frame of 2015 – 2022. However, consumers outside of metro areas are at risk of facing a widening digital economic divide when it comes to digital participation – active involvement in the digital economy through consumption of products or services across sectors. 

Samuele Saini, country director at Google Malaysia, said, “Malaysia’s GMV is projected to reach between $45b and $70b by 2030 and we’ve seen how the resurgence of tourism along with Malaysian consumers’ sticky digital behaviours in e-commerce and food delivery can contribute to this economic growth. With Malaysia making good progress in bridging connectivity gaps, addressing the digital participation beyond metro areas can prove to be a key in unlocking the next wave of growth.”

Meanwhile, Willy Chang, partner at Bain & Company, commented, “t is remarkable that both Southeast Asia’s digital economy GMV and revenue continued their double-digit growth momentum, with revenue breaking the $100B mark in 2023. This shows the resilience of the Southeast Asian digital economy and that the key players are making progress towards more healthy unit economics and sustainable business models. Despite external headwinds and some return to in-person dining and shopping, we are optimistic that the overall digital economy will continue to grow in the longer run.”

Singapore –  Infosys, a global company in next-generation digital services and consulting, has announced a five-year extension of partnership collaboration with Temasek, a Singapore-based global investment firm.

Infosys Compaz, an Infosys-Temasek joint venture, has worked with large Southeast Asian corporations on their digital transformation journeys. The company’s technological expertise spans cloud, data and analytics, cybersecurity, digital, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation, among other areas.

This extension shows iCompaz’s commitment to growing its presence in Singapore and the Southeast Asian market. The region has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and is an important growth market. iCompaz, founded in 2018, has collaborated with Temasek to drive its technology transformation initiatives, which include the implementation of new digital architecture, data applications, and security infrastructure.

This announcement reinforces Infosys’ 2018 commitment to invest in technologies and expand its capabilities. The goal is to provide beneficial professional services while also encouraging the growth and development of its workforce.

iCompaz from Infosys leverages the deep capabilities of Infosys Cobalt, an enterprise cloud acceleration suite, and Infosys Topaz, an AI-driven platform, to enable clients to achieve unprecedented innovations and efficiencies, fostering value creation in connected ecosystems. This collaboration demonstrates iCompaz’s dedication to providing solutions to its clients.

Speaking about the extension of partnership, Dennis Gada, EVP, head of financial services, Infosys, said, “We deeply value our collaboration with Temasek, and it has helped us scale both technology capabilities and talent base in the region. Our journey over the last 5 years has demonstrated shared aspirations of amplifying human potential.” 

He added, “We look forward to further building on the strong foundation we have laid together to provide differentiated value to all stakeholders across the region.”

Meanwhile, Rao Baskara, chief technology officer of Temasek, said, “We look forward to extending our collaboration and the next phase of growth of iCompaz as it continues to provide quality digital services to companies in Southeast Asia. This engagement also enhances Temasek’s capabilities, and enables us to harness the potential that digital transformation brings.”

Manohar Atreya, CEO of Infosys Compaz, remarked, “iCompaz has proven its expertise in the sphere of large-scale digital and IT transformation. We are delighted to extend this collaboration with Temasek, as we continue to leverage the global scale and depth of Infosys in intelligent AI platforms and data solutions, to help clients navigate their next journey in business transformation.”

Manila, Philippines – The trio Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company has finally released its overview of the SEA region’s digital economy for 2022. Titled ‘Through the waves, towards a sea of opportunity,’ the latest iteration of the annual e-Conomy SEA report projects that the Philippine digital economy is on track to hit $20b Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) by the end of the year. This is a $3b growth from last year’s $17b projected value. 

It is also projected to reach $35b GMV by 2025 and $100b to $150b GMV by 2030.

Despite the partial resumption of in-store shopping, e-commerce accounted for 70% of the overall Philippine digital economy. It is expected to reach $14b GMV by 2022 with a 17% growth from last year and is expected to amount to $22b GMV by 2025 as it continues to steer the local digital economy.

Aside from e-commerce, food delivery and video-on-demand round up the top three digital activities of Filipinos, showing an adoption rate of 88%, 69%, and 58% respectively amongst digital urban users.

Moreover, projections include transport and food delivery reaching $1.9b GMV, travel growing at $1b GMV, online media reaching $3.1b GMV, and digital financial services such as lending and remittance hitting $6b this year.

The report also stated that the Philippines will attract more investors across sectors in the years to come, as its digital investment sector grew 63% from last year. Digital financial services in the country continue to attract investor interest, garnering 56% of total investor funding in 2022. 

“The Philippine digital economy remains resilient despite headwinds and continues to provide boundless opportunities as it is projected to reach $20 billion GMV by end of year. This year’s e-Conomy SEA report also suggests that the country will be a leading investment destination with over 70% of investors expecting deal activity to increase in the period of 2025 to 2030,” said Bernadette Nacario, country director at Google Philippines.

Willy Chang, associate partner at Bain & Company, also said “The Philippines’ digital economy is one of the more attractive investment hubs in the region. Across internet sectors there remains tremendous whitespace for growth as the ecosystem drives greater digital inclusion in the country, particularly outside of metro areas.”

“The seventh edition of the e-Conomy SEA report shows that the digital future of the Philippines is bright as it has the fastest growing digital investments sector this year in the region,” said Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual.

e-Conomy SEA is an annual research programme that combines Google Trends, Temasek, and Bain & Company’s insights and analyses of the digital economies of six countries in SEA: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Manila, Philippines – With a fast-growing base of digital consumers and merchants, acceleration in e-commerce, and food delivery, the Philippines’ current internet economy has been recorded as the nation with the highest internet economy growth, with a rate of 93%, according to the latest collaborative research from Google, Temasek, Bain & Company. This has previously been predicted to grow from US$9b in 2020 to US$17b this year. 

Currently, the SEA region is estimated to reach US$174b in gross merchandise value (GMV) by the end of 2021. Furthermore, the region’s digital economy is further expected to reach US$360b by 2025, outgrowing the earlier projection of US$300b.

“Much like the rest of the region, the Philippines is entering its digital decade as the internet increasingly becomes an integral part of the consumers’ daily lives. The growth of the digital market in the country was driven by the explosive 132% growth in e-commerce and double-digit growth across all sectors including food delivery services,” noted the study.

The country has seen 12 million new digital consumers since the start of the pandemic, up to the first half of 2021. About 63% of those new digital consumers are from non-metro areas and 99% say that they intend to continue using these services going forward. Pre-pandemic users have consumed an average of 4.3 more services since the pandemic began and 95% of those pre-pandemic consumers are still found to be digitally-inclined consumers today.

“The pandemic has led to enduring digital adoption in Southeast Asia, which has propelled its internet economy to new heights. Temasek looks forward to increasing our investments in Southeast Asia’s digital champions, using our capital to catalyse digital solutions and accelerate economic growth and job opportunities for our local communities,” said Rohit Sipahimalani, chief investment strategist and head of Southeast Asia at Temasek.

It is estimated that the Philippines’ overall internet economy will likely reach US$40b in value, growing at 24% CAGR, which can be amplified due to strict lockdowns as well as heightened adoption of certain digital services.

Willy Chang, associate partner at Bain & Company, commented, “The Philippines’ internet economy is the fastest growing in SEA as a result of strict COVID-19 restrictions and a large number of new digital consumers. There remains ample headroom for growth as long as digital enablers continue to develop. For example, we saw a strong adoption of digital payment methods such as e-wallets and national real-time payment rails which facilitated the growth of the internet economy.” 

The report also noted that 39% of local digital merchants believe they would not have survived the pandemic if not for digital platforms. Digital merchants now use an average of two digital platforms, but profitability remains a top concern. Digital financial services saw very rapid growth this year, not only from e-wallets but also from the national payment rail. 

Of the digital merchants surveyed, 97% now accept digital payments, while 67% have adopted digital lending solutions. Many are also embracing digital tools to engage with their customers, with 68% expecting to increase usage of digital marketing tools in the next five years.

Bernadette Nacario, country director at Google Philippines said, “The digital adoption we’ve seen in the Philippines since last year has contributed to the accelerated growth of the country’s internet economy, magnifying its vast potential. Google is committed to helping Filipinos maximize the opportunities of going digital and helping the country shape an internet economy that is equitable, safe, and inclusive through programs and products that improve lives.”