Malaysia pushes for digital payments

14 Jan 2020

As the world takes a step towards becoming more cashless, Malaysia is set to push its citizens to make more use of digital payments. 

On Wednesday, Malaysia will kickstart a new programme that will give around half of the population 450 million ringgit, equivalent to $110 million. 

This move will be done so to encourage people pay digitally more frequently, which will in turn benefit Malaysian e-wallet firms. 

Southeast Asian e-wallet operators Grab, backed by SoftBank Group, Axiata’s Boost, Touch ‘n Go and China’s Ant Financial will be giving out citizens the money. 

The programme will benefit Malaysian citizens who are over 18 and earn less than 100,000 ringgit annually. 

Such an initiative was mentioned during Malaysia’s 2020 budget last October.

The finance minister, Lim Guan Eng explained that those eligible for the programme will receive a shopping handout of 30 ringgit that will only be made use of once and must be spent by March 14th. 

The Minister of Finance added that this “initiative is designed to widen digital payments adoption among Malaysian consumers and merchants, particularly among small retail businesses.”

He continued, “This is part of the government’s commitment to fulfil the shared prosperity agenda by reducing barriers to digitalization and improving financial inclusivity in the country.”