Mobile payments are quickly gaining traction across the globe. Asia is especially keen on this new method of paying for goods and services. WeChat Pay is one of the market leaders in China. This new digital payment service is now accessible in Malaysia as well.
Expanding into other countries marks an interesting milestone for WeChat Pay. Until now, the mobile payment solution was accessible only in China and Hong Kong. By moving into Malaysia, the digital solution is officially beginning its expansion. It is now possible to send money to other users and make payments to offline merchants in Malaysian ringgit. A further rollout of the service in Malaysia is expected over the coming months.
Malaysia is a Booming Market
It is also the first time WeChat Pay aims as establishing an international local payment service. This means the app’s new features are not just designed for Chinese nationals living abroad. Attracting users is done through offers of “free money”. That virtual money pack is worth as much as $21.70. Whether or not it will be sufficient to get Malaysians interested in this digital payment service, remains to be determined.
One potential problem is the lack of an official Malaysian banking partner. WeChat has not offered any news or insights in this regard. Without such a partner, this venture into Malaysia cannot be successful. Combined with the increasing competition in the country’s mobile payment space, WeChat may be biting off more than it can chew.
There is tremendous potential for growth of digital payments in Malaysia. Cash is still commonly used, but it is slowly losing ground compared to mobile solutions. There are a lot more mobile phones in Malaysia than actual residents. This further indicates a lot of changes are to be expected in the mobile payment industry. Whether or not that bodes well for WeChat Pay, remains to be determined.