Malaysians outpace North Americans toward mobile banking

Photo by Patrick Tomasso

Malaysian consumers are more comfortable opening bank accounts on their smartphones than consumers in the United States and Canada, according to a FICO’s Consumer Digital Banking Survey.

Findings show that 235 of Malaysians prefer to open a bank account on their phone compared to 18% in the US and 16% in Canada.

Also, the study showed that digital account opening is rapidly becoming the norm in Malaysia with 78% of consumers saying they would open some kind of financial account online.

Of those that would open a financial account online, 65% would consider doing so for an everyday transaction account, 45% for a credit card and 28% for a personal loan.

Leading the digital push were 25-34-year-olds, with 76% of them saying they would open a bank account online. This dropped to 49% when it came to consumers 45-55 years-old, but interestingly climbed back up to 61% for those over 55 years of age.

“Malaysian households are often multi-generational,” said Subhashish Bose, FICO’s lead for fraud, security and compliance in Asia Pacific. “So, this finding might be explained by younger generations helping their grandparents with their banking, especially if they are less mobile and can’t get to a branch.”

“As consumers’ reliance on online services grows in response to COVID-19, we expect further shifts in adoption and indeed an acceleration and acceptance in opening bank accounts digitally,” said Bose.

The survey,  conducted online covering 5,000 adults (over 18) across 10 countries, found that a large percentage of Malaysians had an expectation that they should be able to complete all aspects of account opening online or on their phone.

Out of the regular identity checks needed to open an account, 78% of Malaysians thought they should be able to prove their identity by scanning documents or providing a selfie, 46% expected to prove where they live without moving offline and 40% said they should be able to set up a biometric such as a fingerprint scan at account opening.

Overall findings demonstrated that financial institutions that don’t facilitate a completely digital account opening experience could lose over 40% of their new business.