The financial behaviours survey aim to collect general information on financial and digital literacy of refugees and asylum-seekers in Malaysia for the purpose of understanding their familiarity with and interest in financial and digital services. The survey was administered via phone calls, where respondents were identified through a random sampling of individuals aged 18-59 registered with UNHCR, and have updated their contact numbers with UNHCR in the last 6 months.
A majority of respondents are able to confidently make calculations and transact with money without errors. As a result of regulatory challenges, only 35.8% of respondents owned SIM cards registered under their own names. 89% of respondents own a smartphone, with the most frequently used mobile apps being Whatsapp, followed by Facebook, Youtube, imo and TikTok. While respondents seem to understand the value of financial services, only 11% actually own an account at a financial institutions due to regulatory barriers. A majority of respondents also rely on informal services for sending or receiving money either locally (within Malaysia) or internationally. In addition to this, 84.9% reported not having any savings whatsoever, which indicates respondents' limited resilience capacities to withstand sudden shocks or stressors.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Households and Individual
v2.1: Edited, cleaned and anonymised data
Livelihood and Social cohesion
Domestic Needs/Household Support
Registered Refugees and asylum-seekers in Malaysia 2022