Cost-conscious behaviour among Malaysians spurring need for transparency
Aunty Powers and Kopitiam Uncles who seek truth and cost transparency may only make up a small part of the population now, but they’re showing off some influence in Malaysians looking to better understand currency conversions.
More than half (52%) of all Malaysian respondents have the impression that fintech platforms give the best rates when it comes to foreign exchange, although 38% chose money changers. This may be to their detriment, as half (50%) of Malaysians surveyed want to know if the remittance provider charges a receiving fee or the exchange rate used when receiving money from overseas.
Plus, close to a quarter of respondents (24%) said having the lowest service fee was the second most important thing they expect from a remittance provider.
Given Aunty Power’s ability to sniff out the prawn behind the rock, many Malaysians still have a lot to learn when it comes to understanding hidden fees, and it’s clear that transparency in fees is something consumers are increasingly looking for.
An earlier independent research commissioned by Wise found that Malaysians had spent RM 10.5 billion (bn) in total card fees when shopping overseas from 2015 to 2020 and RM 1.5 bn was paid in transaction fees and hidden exchange rate markups yearly when shopping overseas.
Malaysians are Shopping Pros first, but Financial Controllers keep a keen eye on spending
When it comes to shopping overseas, the Shopping Pros show off their strategic buying capabilities with strong preferences for digital payment methods. Malaysians surveyed choose to use their credit card (39%), followed by debit cards (22%), multi-currency cards (20%) and cash (20%). Given how many Malaysians use their credit cards when shopping, it’s encouraging to see that two-thirds (69%) are aware when it comes to shopping in a foreign currency with their credit card, they pay more than just currency conversion fees.
Still, the Financial Controllers are still looking to keep budgets intact and spending on track, as 28% of shoppers noted that whether they are paying the lowest fees is the most important factor of consideration when spending on an international site and 55% want to know the total cost of the purchase in ringgit. Importantly, to feel more secure when spending money overseas, Malaysian respondents say they want to know they are protected from fraud (40%), the total amount they have spent (37%), and the exact fees they have to pay (15%).
Lim Paik Wan, Malaysia Country Manager, Wise, said: “As international e-commerce and shopping continue to grow in popularity across the country, Malaysians need solutions that will help them navigate hidden fees and provide an easier way to make international purchases. We know from our research that transparency and convenience are paramount to Malaysian consumers, which is why we’re proud to offer our multi-currency account and card to anyone who needs a better solution for their spending needs. Malaysian shoppers should be able to put their hard-earned money toward their purchases, not hidden fees, and we hope they take their financial savvy even further by using Wise.”
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