Kuala Lumpur, 12 July 2019
by Sunny Gan

There’s no denying that cash used to be the most powerful tool in the market. Some felt the sense of joy by holding it while others acquire a sense of security from owning it. Nonetheless, we all know that money plays an important role in our day to day activities. Looking at how society progressed now, it’s hard to believe that cash used to be the most common payment method back then. Today, we are spoilt with a diverse choice of payment methods that do not even involve physical money anymore. In other words, consumers are gradually embracing the digital payment era where cashless becomes one of the most sought-after payment methods.  

Let’s take a look at how payment processing methods progressed and how far we’ve come today.

Past - Years ago, way before digital and electronics were a norm, businesses did not accept credit cards. Instead, they were perceived as a big novelty to own it. Before the rise of e-commerce in the mid-2000s, businesses had to contemplate whether accepting credit card as a payment method was the best decision for their businesses.

While cash used to be the most commonly accepted payment method, today it is rare to see any retail vendors that do not accept bank card payments. Same goes to online payment, it was almost non-existing before the e-commerce era sets in. Back those days, it was understandable why Malaysians were skeptical to shop and make payments online.

A global survey by Nielsen revealed that Malaysians were concerned about cyber-safety and hence, became hesitant to perform any internet transactions on their smartphone or tablet devices, even though they were assured of their personal information. The survey also shared that 60% of Malaysian consumers preferred to pay in cash. With that, a lot of businesses outside were offering COD (Cash on delivery) as an additional payment method.

Businesses like online food delivery, marketplaces, or even traditional brick-and-mortar stores often offered COD as a popular payment method to their customers. This service allows “a fraud” free transaction for e-Commerce industry in Malaysia. However, it is not entirely safe either, as a big sum of cash is being carried around.

Present – Fast forward to today, the payment industry has been changing substantially. Instead of paying cash upon receiving goods, now customers can do it through debit or credit card.

For instances, customers can now save the hassle of withdrawing money as card payments are accepted when food is delivered to their doorsteps. This is now possible all thanks to the mPOS device. Vendors can now provide better customer experience as the payment preparation process is now shortened.

Customers no longer need to take time to prepare the exact cash amount and pay to vendor. Instead, they can enjoy a hassle-free, paperless experience by receiving an e-receipt.

On top of that, shoppers can now enjoy another unique feature when they shop online, known as Pay4Me. This feature allows merchants to give customers an option pay for their goods online even without access to any financial institutions.

With Pay4Me, the payment can be made by a third-party, who is not the main shopper. If your business mainly targets youths or young adults, this is the best time to enable the “Pay4Me” feature as an additional payment method. As most of the Gen Y and Gen Z shoppers still do not have access to credit cards, this payment method can empower them to shop at your online store. Best of all, Pay4Me is an add-on feature, which comes at a no additional cost for iPay88 merchants.

Future – Who knows what the future will holds for us? Perhaps shoppers can pay for their groceries using just the veins in their fingertips? No bank cards, cash or QR codes may be required in the future, as the payment industry is constantly innovating and progressing towards providing a seamless payment experience.

From cash to credit cards and from credit cards to mobile payments, the technology for payment processing is advancing at a very fast pace. Today, we witnessed how technology has made us less reliable on cash, encouraging more consumers to embark on digital payment solutions.