The state of e-commerce payments in Malaysia: still terrible

Today I tried to checkout RM450 using iPay88. They only accept Visa or MasterCard credit cards, so I pulled my wallet out.

I thought I would use the Citibank card today. I got sent to an error page. So I clicked the back button to head back and thankfully this worked.

Error Finding Page

I dug further and found a Direct Access card. I have to choose an issuing bank and now had to think a little harder to figure out that this card belongs to CIMB. I was sent a code via USSD verification which was valid for a mere 3 minutes. I had to run to my phone which was charging upstairs and run back down to make the transaction.

Later I see an SMS from Citibank giving me my OneTime PIN that is valid for 4 minutes. I never even got the chance to use it.

Now, lets say I was the average consumer.

  1. What would I have done with the error page?
  2. How would I have reacted to seeing one design then seeing the iPay88 page? Seems close to an attack. Stripe doesn’t have this problem.
  3. How quickly would I have retried the same credit card before I gave up on the online purchase?

Anecdotal evidence from several online stores that I’ve been involved in suggests Malaysians are a patient bunch. They try up to three times for a credit card transaction before abandoning the cart. Some will email because its clear they really want the item. Most truly just give up.

E-commerce is slated to be big. But fixing payments should be crucial.