Khazanah to deliberate e-wallet stimulus payment

Implementation details will be announced at an appropriate time after consultations with relevant stakeholders

graphic by  TMR

KHAZANAH NASIONAL Bhd said it will announce the implementation details of a one-time RM30 e-wallet payment after deliberation with the relevant stakeholders.

“We welcome the government’s initiative on greater digital participation. Implementation details will be announced at an appropriate time after consultations with relevant stakeholders,” Khazanah’s spokesperson told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) yesterday.

The spokesperson responded when asked whether the sovereign wealth fund has determined which company would be involved in the disbursement of RM450 million, meant to provide the one-time stimulus to qualified Malaysians above 18 years old with an annual income below RM100,000.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said in the tabling of Budget 2020 that RM450 million will be allocated to Khazanah to implement the digital stimulus, which is expected to benefit up to 15 million Malaysians.

“The one-time digital stimulus per person can be redeemed and used for two months commencing Jan 1, 2020, and expiring on Feb 29, 2020,” said Lim.

TNG Digital Sdn Bhd CEO Ignatius Ong said so far, the company has no updates from the Finance Ministry or Khazanah on the e-wallets that are involved under this initiative.

“If appointed as the e-wallet provider to implement this ‘digital transformation’ initiative, our e-wallet users must get their accounts verified first through our account verification process,” Ong said in an email reply to TMR.

The process includes taking a picture of their identification card, a selfie and filling in their details on their Touch ’n Go app.

“We support the government’s approach to select e-wallets as the mode of distribution for the RM30 digital stimulus as it enables people who have yet to jump on the e-wallet bandwagon to do so,” Ong added.

“Users can look forward to utilising the RM30 through any of our 80,000 strong retail points. We have a vast catalogue of retailers who offer variety and convenience for consumers.

“For example, students can pay their PTPTN loan, top-up their phone credit, buy books, movie tickets and more on our e-wallet,” he said.

Additionally, beyond retail enablement, Ong said the RM30 digital stimulus will be useful for unique features of toll payment such as PayDirect and radio frequency identification (RFID).

He stated that these features enable users to conveniently pass through tolls without having to worry about topping up at toll booths.

“PayDirect uses a simple step of adding the TNG card to our e-wallet to pay for tolls.

“Whereas with RFID, once the RFID sticker is fitted onto the car, the deductions for toll payment will happen on the e-wallet directly,” he said.

Meanwhile, another homegrown e-wallet service provider — Boost — said the move can be viewed as the government’s endorsement towards the technology used in e-wallet, which is safe for financial transactions.

Boost CEO Mohd Khairil Abdullah said e-wallet stimulus will certainly spur domestic spending for local mer- chants and will also catalyse higher adoption of digital payments among businesses.

“We hope we can be a driver of change for the country in our journey towards becoming a cashless society,” Mohd Khairil said in a statement.

“The payment landscape is changing and this e-wallet stimulus will be a new experience for people to try their first time using an e-wallet,” he said.

According to Bank Negara Malaysia, there are about 46 digital money (e-wallet) issuers comprising five banks and 41 non-bank firms.

Recently, TMR reported that the e-money transactions in the country are expected to cross RM12 billion this year.

Based on the central bank’s electronic payment data, there were 1.92 billion transactions for e-money with a total value of RM11 billion.

For the January-May 2019 period alone, 832 million e-money transactions were recorded with a total value of RM6.3 billion.