malaysia carrier billing

5 Reasons Merchants Should Consider Carrier Billing in Malaysia

22 November 2021
Carrier Billing

1. High Digital Adoption

Malaysia is going digital and 99% of the population aged 14 to 64 are smartphone users. Smartphone penetration in Malaysia is higher than both Southeast Asian and global averages, with 9 subscribers out of 10 using one.

In Q3 2020 Statista also found a high percentage of internet users in Malaysia were engaging with digital content – 89.7% were using entertainment or video apps, 58.9% were active on game apps and 55.2% were enjoying music apps.

In Q3 2021 Netflix grew its revenue by 16.7% to $7.4bn and added 4.4 million paid subscribers globally – Asia & Oceania made up half of these new subscribers.

Malaysian consumers are more connected than the average Southeast Asia consumer in terms of subscribing to mobile services – so merchants have a real opportunity to gain active and loyal customers in this region. 

2. The Covid-19 Impact

Across Southeast Asia a third of all digital service consumers have adopted new services during the Covid-19 pandemic – in Malaysia specifically, 36% are using new digital services.

Globally mobile operators have stepped up during the pandemic, implementing initiatives to support vulnerable customers, and in Malaysia mobile operators extended the offer of free internet to customers until the end of 2021. More time spent online and on mobile inevitably means there’s more opportunity to pay for digital content.

The pandemic has also accelerated Malaysia’s push toward electronic payments as consumers migrate away from cash and take advantage of the contactless nature of mobile payments.

3. Internet and 5G Expansion

The Malaysian government aims to expand internet reach to every corner of the country, including the expansion of 4G network coverage. Malaysia is a leader for 4G take-up both in the region and globally.

5G rollout is also already underway in Asia Pacific and Malaysia in particular is moving forward with a unique 5G plan, opting for a government-owned single wholesale network. It’s hoped that the result will be significant growth and innovation in mobile applications and services.

Merchants should look at how they can take advantage of these advancements as 5G can guarantee a quality experience on mobile for the likes of esports and cloud gaming, with carrier billing offering a seamless way to pay. 

4. The Unbanked Population

Around 55% of Malaysia’s adult population is still underbanked and unbanked. Carrier billing offers a practical alternative for unbanked citizens to pay via a familiar method they are already using to pay for other mobile services.

The importance of carrier billing in emerging markets should not be undervalued, paying through your mobile phone bill or using prepaid credit is an attractive choice, especially when other payment methods are not within reach.

5. Accelerating Mobile Payments

Due to rapid technological change, consumers now expect mobile-first and real-time experiences. In Asia Pacific almost half of consumers have shown a preference for digital payments and card payments are being overtaken by digital options.

Total transaction value of digital payments in Malaysia is projected to reach US$14,060m in 2021 with the largest segment being digital commerce with a total transaction value of US$11,622m in 2021. And the mobile payment industry in Malaysia is also predicted to grow, with a CAGR of 20.7% to reach US$70,677.3 million by 2025.

With new mobile advancements, a highly engaged audience and a desire for digital content, Malaysia is a great place to expand your digital services through carrier billing. New customers and new revenues await, contact SLA Digital today to find out how we can help you explore carrier billing in Malaysia.


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