A recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet) and Ant Group is set to revolutionise the digital payment experience for Asian travelers visiting Malaysia.

With the collaboration, over 1.8 million merchants throughout Malaysia will offer a frictionless digital payment experience to Asian tourists, while Malaysian residents will be empowered to utilise their e-wallets for payments abroad.

By the close of this year, users of prominent Asian e-wallets, including AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR), GCash (Philippines), Kakao Pay (South Korea), and TrueMoney (Thailand), will enjoy the convenience of cashless payments during their visits to Malaysia.

This will be made possible through Alipay+, the global cross-border digital payments and marketing platform operated by Ant Group. This initiative involves scanning the DuitNow QR code, Malaysia’s National QR Standard, operated by PayNet. The partnership anticipates the inclusion of more e-wallet providers in the upcoming months.

The collaboration also entails a strategic alliance between Ant Group and PayNet for joint digital marketing endeavors aimed at enhancing business visibility within users’ e-wallets. Additionally, PayNet-supported Malaysian e-wallets are poised to gain acceptance within the Alipay+ merchant network worldwide by 2024.

Gary Yeoh, chief commercial officer of PayNet, noted that this partnership arrives at a crucial juncture when international travel has fully resumed and is rapidly expanding. Consumers and merchants alike are seeking seamless digital payment experiences that transcend borders and come with competitive exchange rates.

This alliance aims to fulfill these expectations and foster increased trade growth between nations.

Amidst the recovery of travel to Malaysia, which saw 4.5 million tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2023, primarily from ASEAN countries, the importance of adapting to digital habits such as local e-wallet usage has become evident.

The ongoing transition towards QR code payments, predicted to grow by 590% by 2028, is largely driven by Southeast Asian users, with countries like South Korea also witnessing accelerated adoption.

Dr. Cherry Huang, general manager of Alipay+ offline merchant services at Ant Group, emphasised the collaboration’s significance in bringing local businesses and international visitors closer together. The collaboration aims to deliver not only convenience to travelers but also enhanced opportunities and visibility for Malaysian businesses.

Alipay+ serves as a comprehensive suite of global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions, catering particularly to small and medium-sized businesses. It facilitates a wide array of mobile payment methods, connecting with over one billion regional and global consumers through a streamlined integration process.

Beyond Malaysia, Alipay+ has gained wide acceptance across various destinations, including the Chinese mainland, Macao SAR, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.

This partnership marks another triumph for PayNet in cross-border cooperation, following successful collaborations with Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore. These linkages collectively connect a substantial segment of digital payment customers in ASEAN, one of the world’s most vibrant digital payment markets.


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