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Malaysia

Guide

Southeast Asia’s third-largest game market (2020), worth US$900M

More than 80% of the 20 million gamers in Malaysia have purchased in-game items and upgrades, spending over US$900M on gaming in 2020 alone. With below-average credit card penetration (19%), Malaysia presents an opportunity for publishers to increase growth by tapping into a broader range of digital payment options, including direct carrier billing, bank transfers, and e-wallets.

Language and Infrastructure

Standard Malay is the official language of this multicultural country - 67% of Malaysian citizens identify as Malay and other indigenous peoples. While 93% of the top 15 grossing mobile apps in Malaysia are offered in English, customer support inquiries range across Malay, English, and Chinese, suggesting that localized Malay content and marketing may resonate better with Malaysian players. 

93%

of the top 15 grossing mobile applications in Malaysia are offered in English.

33%

of the customer support inquiries that our local team handles are in English and Chinese. 

Market Overview

In 2021, Malaysia’s gaming market was estimated at US$1B1, making it one of the largest in Southeast Asia. However, this estimate does not account for revenue generated by third-party payment methods. Codashop data indicates that third-party payment methods generate as much revenue for mobile app developers as the traditional market, suggesting that mobile market potential in Malaysia may be exceptionally higher than estimated.

Mobile gaming market size
in 2020

US$600M - 800M

How significant are third-party payments?
Less significant
Significant
Very significant

Tax Landscape

In January 2020, Malaysia began levying a 6% SST on foreign suppliers of digital services. Publishers unfamiliar with tax policies in Malaysia may consider working with a registered third party to facilitate smoother processing. For example, Codashop is registered to manage tax obligations on behalf of its partners, acting as the merchant of record (MOR).  

Local Payment Methods

Given the low credit card penetration rate, bank transfer and direct carrier billing dominate as the primary payment methods in Malaysia. Recent events, including government e-wallet stimulus incentives and COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, have boosted the adoption of e-wallets, accelerating a broader shift towards a cashless society. E-wallet uptake is also driven by rising smartphone and internet penetration in Malaysia – now at 80%, is one of the highest in the Southeast Asian market.

Further insight on e-wallet support: Malaysian banks and other widely-used e-wallets in Malaysia, like GrabPay and Boost, have yet to support Apple Pay, while Google Pay is restricted to online or in-app purchases and does not support contactless payments.

E-wallets

Codacash

Grabpay

Boost

Touch & Go eWallet

ShopeePay

MAE

Carrier billing

Maxis

Digi

U Mobile

Celcom

Online banking

FPX

DuitNow

Cash
Vouchers
Buy Now Pay Later
QR Code Payments
Card Payments

Visa

Mastercard

Payment Method Market Share

53.1%
Carrier Billing
28.6%
E-wallets
15.2%
Bank Transfers
3.1%
Card Payments

Significant investment by backers of key bank transfers and e-wallets has helped drive growth while eroding market share for direct carrier billing, which remains the most popular way to purchase digital content in Malaysia. Publishers should consider carrier billing, e-wallets, and bank transfers as key components in their payment strategies.

Distribution of Volume by Price Point

12%
$0.01 to $0.25
22%
$0.26 to $0.99
15%
$1 to $1.99
29%
$2 to $4.99
11%
$5 to $9.99
7%
$10 to $19.99
4%
$20 or more

The average purchase price on Codashop Malaysia varies broadly due to the different spending patterns between youth and adults. Younger users who gravitate towards games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang are more likely to purchase low-ticket items, however adults playing games like VALORANT are willing to spend more per item.

Pricing strategies will vary depending on a publisher’s target audience while considering that 75% of purchases on Codashop Malaysia fall under US$4.99.

Featured Marketing Campaign

#CodashopSapotLokal Merdeka & Malaysia Day

For the #CodashopSapotLokal campaign, Codashop worked with MGAG, a Malaysian social media website and local artists like Komik Tok Ketua and Lamchop to support local communities and award prizes to local brands. With 15M impressions generated across Codashop channels and GrabPay in-app placements, the campaign drove a 64% increase in transactions, 10% increase in average transaction value and a 91% increase in GrabPay total payment volume.


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