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e-payment, the way to be

  • The advent of Alipay will not only have a positive impact on Malaysia's tourism industry but will also catapult us towards a cashless society.

Sin Chew Daily

China's Alipay has arrived in Malaysia with some local retailers already adopting it.

Anyway, this is only at its infancy and local businesses will have to deepen their reforms to embrace electronic payment in a bid to expand their markets.

After grabbing a significant part of the Chinese market, Alipay began to venture overseas by first exploiting the markets of India, Thailand and Indonesia. Malaysia will be the next big market for Alipay.

7-Eleven and KK Mart are the first two Malaysian retailers to have adopted the Alipay platform. Such a move will make them more attractive to Chinese visitors, who are Alipay's primary target group at the initial stage, by making it easy for them to spend in the country. Local consumers will not be affected at this juncture.

Alipay has been adopted extensively in China, with over 450 million active users who can pay for their shopping, meals or taxi rides without digging into their wallets.

Thanks to this new payment model, many cities in China have literally gone cashless. Now that many Chinese consumers have adapted themselves to this payment model, Malaysian businesses offering this facility to Chinese shoppers will be at an advantage to expand their markets to this particular consumer sector.

Malaysia paid host to 2.12 million Chinese tourists in 2016, up 27% from a year earlier. Some 560,000 Chinese nationals visited the country during the first quarter of this year, 8.3% more than the corresponding period last year. The government expects some three million Chinese tourists to visit Malaysia this year, who collectively constitute a sizable consumer market.

Local businesses should bank on this trend to accept Alipay in order to have an edge over their competitors in grabbing the lion's share of this lucrative market while further boosting the country's tourism industry.

Changes are bound to happen following phenomenal advances in technological development. Businesses cannot afford to stick to their old ways of doing business in the face of challenges of the new era. They should embrace the changes and new technologies with an open mind and proactive attitude to secure their place in the highly competitive market environment.

The advent of Alipay will not only have a positive impact on Malaysia's tourism industry but will also catapult us towards a cashless society.

Currently, cash payments still dominate the country's consumer market as many still have reservations about the use of mobile electronic payment. However, this is going to change following the arrival of Alipay, as more and more Malaysians will see the convenience of this innovative payment model.

 

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