It’s officially a problem. According to the online Malaysian Financial Literacy Survey conducted by RinggitPlus, Malaysians are not saving enough. Twenty-nine (29) per cent of respondents said they do not have enough savings to survive three months without income. A further 30 per cent admitted to not having enough to last even a month.
These results come hot on the heels of Khazanah Research Institute’s latest The State of Households 2018 report, which states that 80% of Malaysians are experiencing a shrinking disposable income pool, with the bottom 40% of earners only having an average of RM 76 left per month, after expenses1.
“We ran this survey to validate for ourselves what we have always believed is a gap in the country. The truth is most Malaysians are leaving money on the table because they don’t know better,” said Liew Ooi Hann, CEO of RinggitPlus, “With just a bit of basic personal finance knowledge, most Malaysians will be able to save hundreds of Ringgit a year without changing their lifestyles significantly, simply by matching the financial products they choose to suit their needs.”
“This is why we’re in business. We see an unmet need in the country where gathering information and understanding financial products is often too complex and time-consuming for the average Malaysian. We believe we can solve this problem with the power of technology at RinggitPlus and do our bit to make Malaysia better,” Liew added.
Taking stock of financial literacy in Malaysia
RinggitPlus launched the Malaysian Financial Literacy Survey online to gain a deeper understanding of how Malaysians manage their money.
“While we have ideas in terms of how things should work in personal finance, we also understand how important it is for us to understand the situations everyday Malaysians find themselves in. That’s why we’ve launched this survey. We are always looking to help Malaysians get more value, choice and convenience when they are looking for financial products,” said Yuen Tuck Siew, co-founder and CEO of Jirnexu Sdn Bhd.
The survey provides more insight into financial literacy in Malaysia and now enables RinggitPlus to better address the challenges Malaysians face in personal finance. Hosted on RinggitPlus.com and Rev Asia’s platforms, the survey collected a total of 2,996 responses within the span of a week.
More than half of the Malaysians who responded to the survey are not able to save more than RM500 a month. Twenty-four (24) per cent say that they are not able to save any money at all, essentially living paycheck to paycheck, and 32 per cent mentioned that they do save, but less than RM500 a month.
The survey results on spending habits showed that 33 per cent of Malaysian respondents either spend exactly what they earn or spend even more than their monthly income. When looking at insurance coverage, 54 per cent of the respondents mentioned that they have life insurance, while 62 per cent of the respondents have medical insurance.
Mission: Take on Financial Illiteracy
With these survey results in hand, RinggitPlus is placing further emphasis on its content strategy to educate Malaysians on personal finance. Part of Jirnexu, which is fresh off a US$11 million Series B funding round earlier this year, the brand is also on a mission to improve financial literacy amongst Malaysians on two fronts:
- First, to address the growing problem, the brand is completely revamping its website, while adding its intuitive chatbot across the website, making it simpler for Malaysians to access information and recommendations on financial products.
- Second, to help proliferate financial literacy amongst Malaysians, RinggitPlus announced today it is embarking on a partnership with Ringgit Sense, Malaysia’s first personal finance TV show.
A unified chatbot across the website
With the latest iteration of RinggitPlus’ website, which will go live by mid-November, the brand will expand its chatbot functionality, rolling it out across the website. The chatbot, which is built to understand natural Malaysian English, will allow for easier transaction and application for financial products such as credit cards, loans, savings and insurance, without having to navigate through an application form. Ultimately, the new website will provide an easier interface for consumers to navigate and find the right financial products for them.