Press Release 2019

Consumers' preference drives UOB Malaysia's double-digit growth in digital payments

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 11 March 2019 – United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB Malaysia) today reported that its customers' use of digital payment methods in 2018 has grown by almost 50 per cent over the year before1. This increase reflects changes in the way customers' choose to make payments and is in line with the Bank's efforts to harness technology to make banking simpler, smarter and safer to meet its customers' changing lifestyle preferences.

Digital payments via UOB Malaysia's internet banking service have grown by 25 per cent between January 2017 and December 20181. Customers also made three times more digital payments through the Bank's mobile banking service, UOB Mighty, in December 2018 compared with 12 months earlier2.

Mr. Ronnie Lim, Managing Director and Country Head of Personal Financial Services, UOB Malaysia, said the rise in digital payment methods reflects consumers' changing banking behaviour and preferences with the proliferation of smartphones and the Internet.

"With consumers now relying even more on their smartphones for their day-to-day needs, we see that they are doing more banking on the go. With the internet and the smartphone now an indispensable part of everyday life, customers have come to rely on their devices to perform a host of functions, including making payments. In particular, our customers are turning to mobile and internet banking services to make peer-to-peer payments given the added convenience and security digital payments provides."

According to UOB Malaysia's data, peer-to-peer payments or digital fund transfers were the most popular digital payment transactions in 2018. Two in three internet and mobile banking transactions by UOB customers were peer-to-peer payments in 2018. Over the same period, customers also used digital payment methods to pay their bills and make credit card payments. These accounted for 32 per cent of all digital transactions carried out by customers last year1. The rise of digital fund transfers coincides with a decline in the use of cheques in peer-to-peer payment. Cheque payments have declined by almost 30 per cent in the last two years1.

Mr Lim said customers' preference for digital fund transfers over cash or cheque transactions is supported by the growing number of digital payment solutions available to Malaysian consumers.

"The wide choice of digital payment solutions available to customers, coupled with a preference for faster, simpler and more secure banking solutions are driving customers' choice of digital payment methods. Not only are these solutions convenient given you can perform a banking transaction from anywhere using a smartphone, they are also more secure. Consumers no longer have to carry around large amounts of cash or a cheque book which are prone to loss or theft. The rise in digital payments also supports Bank Negara Malaysia’s efforts to move Malaysia towards becoming a cashless economy."

To meet customers’ preference for digital fund transfers and to encourage greater the use of peer-to-peer payments, UOB Malaysia is offering its customers a chance to enjoy cash rebates of RM103 when they register for DuitNow, a peer-to-peer payment facility provided by Payment Network Malaysia, with the Bank. Customers will automatically be enrolled for a monthly prize draw to receive an additional RM300 cash rebate4.

"With solutions such as DuitNow, fund transfers are made even simpler as consumers can transfer funds to friends and relatives by simply tapping in their mobile phone numbers instead of having to write down or to recall lengthy bank account details. Customers can access DuitNow through UOB Mighty, the Bank’s all-in-one mobile banking service. UOB Mighty is the first mobile banking app in Malaysia to incorporate banking, dining and payment transaction features in a single app. It is designed to offer our customers a simple and convenient banking and payment solution that matches their lifestyle preferences," Mr Lim said.

Using the DuitNow facility on their UOB Mighty app, customers can transfer funds to individuals by keying in their national registration identity card or mobile phone numbers. Consumers can also make payments via digital fund transfers to merchants using their business registration number.

To find out more about UOB Malaysia's DuitNow campaigns, customers can visit


1 UOB Malaysia online and mobile data by transaction volume between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2018.

2 UOB Malaysia data by transaction volume between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018.

3 Applicable to the first 2000 monthly customers who signs up DuitNow with UOB Malaysia from 8 January until 31 March 2019.

4 Selected on random basis of 45 monthly winners among customers who registered their DuitNow with UOB Malaysia from 8 January until 31 March 2019.