by PRIYA VASU/ pic by BLOOMBERG
TOUCH ‘n Go eWallet, Boost and GrabPay have been selected to participate in the government’s RM450 million e-Tunai Rakyat Initiative.
“The three e-wallet players are among Malaysia’s largest and collectively provide a ready platform for the rollout of the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative, which is scheduled to be launched on 15 January 2020,” Khazanah Nasional Bhd said in a statement today.
The participating e-wallet service providers were selected based on several criteria, including having large numbers of active users, large merchant networks, technical expertise, financial strength and human resources to build the necessary systems, and the ability to handle a large number of transactions in a short period of time.
Malaysians aged 18 years and above who earn less than RM100,000 annually will be eligible to receive RM30 each through any of the participating e-wallets.
The RM30 can be used to purchase goods and services available through the respective e-wallet of their choice.
The RM450 million e-Tunai Rakyat initiative will run for two months from Jan 15, 2020 to March 14, 2020.
It was announced under Budget 2020 to accelerate the use and adoption of e-wallets and digital payments among Malaysians.
Sovereign wealth fund Khazanah will facilitate and coordinate the rollout of the initiative, which involves close collaboration with various parties including the National Registration Department and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).
The participating e-wallet service providers will provide more details on how eligible Malaysians can claim and use the RM30 incentive under the initiative.
The proliferation of e-wallets in recent years has crowded the digital payment landscape in Malaysia.
According to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), there are 42 non-bank e-money issuers in the country registered with the regulator.
The abstract concept that money stores value is similarly applied to e-wallets.
The appeal for paper bills has faded in recent times, as customers are now able to choose from a wide variety of payment options.
This is evident in the volume of e-payment transactions, which have now exceeded cash circulation.
Based on electronic payments volume and value of transactions data from BNM, a staggering RM2.8 billion in e-money was transacted for the first 10 months of 2019.