In Southeast Asia, the battle for e-wallet domination is intense. In Malaysia alone, there are 44 banks and digital payment start-ups that have obtained approval to issue e-money via the different mobile apps. These providers are battling to capture market share by enticing the rising middle-class, tech-savvy and emerging affluent population with reward points, cash back, rebates and much more.
Despite immense potential, the sheer number of players in the digital payments space has resulted in a highly fragmented landscape. Thus, there could well be consolidation down the road.
KPMG Head of IT-enabled Transformation in Malaysia, Alvin Gan foresees more partnerships taking place.
“China’s Alipay, via partnerships with Maybank and CIMB, has enabled its mobile wallet to be prevalent among Chinese tourist. With 450 million active users, expect further expansion of this platform. In my view, Alipay’s move to partner the two big banks in Malaysia has allowed a seamless expansion into this country,” he says. Gan adds that the more options consumers have the better. “But these platforms may not necessarily be integrated with one another. In other words, depending on the services and products, consumers may need to switch between multiple digital payment platforms.”
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