KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Cashless payment methods including e-wallets, online bank transfers, and debit and credit cards have plunged from being the most common payment method at the height of the pandemic to only being used by 51 per cent of Malaysians in the last three months of 2023, Ipsos Malaysia revealed in a statement yesterday.

Online banking and debit cards are still the most commonly used cashless payment methods tied at 35 per cent respectively, followed by e-wallets at 26 per cent and credit cards are the lowest at 9 per cent.

“After the acceleration of Covid-19, there has been a slight decrease in the usage of non-cash payment methods in 2023.

“However, it is worth noting that half of Malaysians still use non-cash payments, with e-wallets being used by one-fourth of the population,” said Ipsos Malaysia chief client officer Pakee Charoenchanaporn and research manager Atticus Poon in a statement.


According to the survey, the 25 to 34-year-old age group uses online bank transfers and e-wallets the most at 45 per cent and 34 per cent respectively, surpassing the 18 to 25-year-old age group, although the percentage dropped compared to last year.

However, the most senior age group in the study, the 45 to 74-year-old age group, saw an increase of 1 per cent and 3 per cent from last year in using online banking and e-wallets respectively.

“Over the past three years, the number of e-wallet brands used has remained stable at around 1.8, indicating that people tend to use a maximum of two e-wallet brands,” Ipsos chief client officer and research manager said.


Without a doubt, Touch n’ Go was the most frequently used e-wallet amongst Malaysians at 88 per cent compared to seven other e-wallets with Maybank’s MAE application as the runner-up.

The most frequent transactions using e-wallets were for tolls, parking and transportation at 55 per cent followed by transactions for food and beverage outlets and food delivery at 51 per cent and 43 per cent respectively.

“The use of e-wallets for retail purchases has decreased as people have returned to physical stores and may prefer using cash or other forms of payment,” they said.

Ipsos is a market research company present in 90 markets. The study was conducted during the last three months of 2023 with 1,015 Malaysian respondents aged 18-74 years old.