Digital technologies shape nearly every aspect of our lives from the way we work and play to how we transact. As life becomes increasingly digital, consumer behaviors are evolving faster than ever, creating new challenges and opportunities for businesses to meet their needs.
Rooted in connectivity and accelerated by mobile technology, the rapid shift to digital since the turn of the millennium engendered habits that were unimaginable just a generation ago. Today, nearly 40% of people stream music daily. More than two-thirds stream video content. Over a quarter shop online. And an estimated 82% carry smartphones.
While the shift to digital was long in the making, Covid-19 turbocharged that trend. By some estimates, the pandemic accelerated the shift from physical to digital shopping by five years. In turn, many businesses face a stark reality: go digital or go bust. And consumers will only give them one shot to get it right.
Consumers have become more tech savvy in the digital era. Their needs have evolved. Basic digital services are no longer enough. Consumers expect convenience, accessibility, and seamless experiences online and in physical stores, especially when making payments with mobile wallets.
With as much as $48 trillion worth of transactions forecast to shift from cash to cards and digital payments by 2030, the cost of getting payments wrong is too great for any business to bear. That poses a huge challenge for many small and medium-sized enterprises that are struggling with digital transformation.
While the need for digital transformation has never been greater, it does not have to be hard. Innovations in digital payments and mobile wallets offer a beacon of hope. Here, Alipay+ shows us what is possible.
The Power of Partnerships
Consumers embraced digital at an unprecedented rate amid Covid-19. In Malaysia, for instance, more than one-third who used digital services last year did so for the first time. Most plan to stick with their newfound habits. In turn, merchants and mobile wallet providers must find new ways to meet their needs.
“We need to understand new needs especially now as the country battles against this pandemic,” said Ignatius Ong, CEO of TNG Digital Sdn Bhd, the operator of Malaysia’s largest mobile wallet Touch ‘n Go eWallet. “For our users, we focused on acquiring new partnerships with amazing brands from essential and high frequency segments so that they can continue to shop from the safety of their home.”
TNG Digital’s partnership with Alipay+ was central to that drive. The Alipay+ cross-border mobile payment and marketing solution enables merchants to accept multiple digital payment methods including e-wallets. Partnering with Alipay+ ensured that Touch ‘n Go eWallet users can transact with that ever-growing network of merchants online and in person. The result: seamless transactions and operational efficiency.
“Our users have benefited from the user-friendly interface that has enabled them to pay in store seamlessly and make online purchases with Alipay+ onboarded merchants,” Ong said. “Their superior technology platform and excellent global merchant network helped us to become Malaysia’s leading e-wallet.”
Partnering with Alipay+ connected Touch ‘n Go eWallet with more global brands, opening new possibilities for consumers. For instance, users could purchase games on Google Store with their Touch ‘n Go eWallet without using a bank card. Likewise, they could pay for their Klook staycations the same way. In turn, convenience and growing acceptance made users more likely to use Touch ‘n Go eWallets instead of alternative payment methods.
“We are the first Malaysian e-wallet to penetrate international brands like the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei App Gallery as a payment method,” Ong adds.TNG Digital also integrated the Alipay+ Rewards program into the Touch ‘n Go eWallet. This enabled users to enjoy more deals and incentives. Alipay+ onboarded merchants simply wired voucher discounts and other daily rewards to consumers directly in the Touch ‘n Go eWallet creating new possibilities for discovery and connection.
Transcending Borders with Digital
While the pandemic long stifled international mobility, travel is slowly returning. TNG Digital’s partnership with Alipay+ affords Touch ‘n Go eWallet users with new convinces overseas, too. They can pay with the same app they use at home at storefronts in Singapore and Japan.
“Partnering with Alipay+ made Touch ‘n Go eWallet the first Malaysian mobile wallet available at over 100,000 merchants in Singapore and Japan,” Ong said. “Our users can now easily pay with the e-wallets in these countries without needing any cash.”
Singapore and Japan are top destinations for Malaysians. In 2018, before the pandemic derailed travel, Malaysia was the fourth-largest source of inbound tourists in Singapore. And it was the ninth-largest source of inbound tourists in Japan.As borders re-open, and travelers satisfy their wanderlust, Touch ‘n Go eWallet will become the mobile wallet of choice for Malaysians who want to transact seamlessly at home, overseas, online and in person.