Malaysia’s e-commerce phenomenon is nothing short of amazing. This is borne out in numbers – Malaysia’s RM18.9 billion (US$4.5 billion) e-commerce market is notable for its explosive growth. Research by JP Morgan forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent a year, driven by a high Internet penetration rate (90.1 percent) and a young, tech-savvy population.

In e-commerce, consumers aren’t just limited to cash – in fact, cash on delivery is used by just 3 percent of online shoppers[1]. Bank transfers and credit cards dominate the e-commerce ecosystem, but a growing percentage of shoppers are using e-wallets to shop instead.

Handing Over the Money

E-wallets are essentially payment cards that work out of a mobile app. They are gaining popularity not just among people who are wary of credit cards, but also shoppers who appreciate the convenience of using their mobile for payments. In countries like China, where the mobile payments ecosystem is more mature, 86 percent of consumers use e-wallets to pay for purchases, both in-store and online[2].

In Malaysia, only 40 percent of consumers have done so. But the Government is giving incentives for consumers to increase e-wallet usage. The Government has given out RM30 in e-wallet credit at the beginning of 2020, and a further RM50 as part of the PENJANA program to incentivise Malaysians to use e-wallets for shopping, dining, and entertainment. E-wallet adoption has also gotten a lift from the COVID-19 pandemic, as contactless payment options become more prevalent among users looking to protect their health.

Handling Electronic Money

On the flip side, consumers can only use their e-wallets at participating merchants, which you can find across the entire country, east and west, from large franchises to small time micro cash merchants. Nevertheless, along with the spike in e-wallet usage, merchants are also embracing e-wallets enthusiastically. CEO of Boost, Mohd Khairil Abdullah told Bernama that apart from big brands, about 60 percent of merchants on board with the leading cashless e-wallet apps consisted of micro-SMEs such as ‘nasi lemak’ sellers, ‘pasar malam’ vendors and food truck operators.

With e-commerce being relied upon as a safe and convenient way to shop, it only makes sense for businesses to adapt to changing consumer behaviours in order to stay relevant. Through digitisation and adopting technology to enhance the customer experience, SMEs can stay competitive and ride out the pandemic-induced recession.

With that in mind, Boost, one of the leading e-wallet providers in Malaysia, aims to help micro-SMEs and SMEs to digitise their business with a simple and cost-effective solution. As one of the participants in the Government’s PENJANA recovery plan, Boost is also helping SMEs to become more forward-looking and reach out to more customers.

Handing SMEs a Boost

The Boost Micro and SMEs E-Commerce Campaign is not only free for merchants, they also can take advantage of RM1,500 worth of benefits upon signing up for the program. These include:

  •                   Up to RM 500 cash incentive
  •                   RM500 worth of advertising to over 8.5 million Boost users
  •                   Waived RM500 onboarding fee
  •                   Cashback for their customers

These efforts will not only support and train SMEs to digitise, but also raise their profile among 8.5 million young, tech-savvy Boost e-wallet users. Boost is committing RM 7 million worth of personalised ads to help grow merchants online and expand reach to users beyond their usual patrons.

For more information, you may refer to Boost’s Micro and SME’s E-Commerce Campaign.

In addition, Boost is also helping merchants in their offline-to-online (O2O) efforts by enabling them to accept online payments via the Boost Business Payment Link feature. The business payment link is sent over WhatsApp or SMS, which automatically opens the customer’s app to request for payment, making their interactions more official.

More importantly, this makes it easier for merchants to track payments, versus the usual method of transferring funds into the merchant’s bank account. On top of that, it also reduces issues with cash-on-delivery, where customers are unable to cancel their orders (without sufficient reason) once they’ve committed to payment. This helps safeguard the merchant’s business from fraudulent orders.

A Hand in Promotion

Aside from payments, participating SMEs in Boost’s e-commerce campaign will also be featured on both Boost Marketplace as well as the Boost app. Merchants on Boost Marketplace will have searchable information uploaded, as well as their catalogue for users to browse. Categories of merchants include F&B, health & beauty, retail, household goods & groceries, transit & travel, and services.

Besides promotions to Boost’s user base, such listings will improve an SME’s visibility and increase its customer base. At the same time, Malaysians can also find and support local businesses through Boost’s e-wallet platform, contributing to Malaysia’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

[1] Statista research, https://www.statista.com/outlook/243/122/ecommerce/malaysia#market-paymentTypes.

[2] PwC Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019.

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