As of 15 January, about 15 million Malaysians will be eligible to claim RM30 from the government through one of three e-wallet operators – GrabPay, Boost, and Touch ‘n Go eWallet. Malaysia’s finance minister, Lim Guan Eng, said that the government has allocated RM450 million for this initiative which is under the e-Tunai Rakyat programme.
Said programme is part of the government’s efforts to gear-up and prepare the country for an evolution into a cashless society. Mobile and digital services are fast reshaping how consumers purchase globally. However, despite having a large, young, and tech-savvy workforce comprising 70 percent of the population, consumers have yet to fully embrace the digital culture.
With this new initiative, Malaysians aged 18 years above, with an annual income of less than RM100,000 will qualify for the e-cash payment. The government hopes that incentives such as these can serve as a stepping stone for large-scale adoption of cashless payment systems within the nation.
“The e-wallet operators will also add to the RM30 free money from the government by giving their own incentives. This means that through this initiative, eligible Malaysians will receive more than RM30,” said Lim.
The RM30 incentive is confirmed to be usable for all products and services provided through the chosen operator’s platform.
Apart from consumers, the government hopes that this initiative will encourage traders and businesses to adopt a cashless system as well so that both consumers and businesses will evolve together. SMEs in particular, which comprise close to 99 percent of all business establishments in Malaysia, have much to gain from the convenience of a cashless payment system.
“The government is encouraging all traders to register with one or all the e-wallet operators so that they can benefit from the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative before March 14,” said Lim.
To date, more than eight million traders have utilised e-wallet payment services, and this number is expected to increase after the announcement of the e-Tunai Rakyat Initiative.
To ensure that the initiative will boost the digitalisation process, Lim said the RM30 must be spent between 15 January and 14 March.
“The remaining unspent balance will expire after 14 March,” he said.
Lim said those who are eligible can apply for the free money before March 9 so that the process of verification and allocation of the money can be made within five working days at the latest.
Additionally, the verification process will go through three stages: the National Registration Department (to check the identity card), the Inland Revenue Department (to check that the annual income is below RM100,000), and a check to ensure that the individual has only applied from one operator.