Fifteen million people to receive RM30 through e-Tunai Rakyat

The govt has allocated RM450m for the initiative, which will stretch until March 14, 2020

by ASILA JALIL/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

FIFTEEN million eligible Malaysians for the RM30 e-wallet programme will receive their one-off credit today onwards.

The three e-wallet operators selected for the two-month government’s e-Tunai Rakyat programme, namely GrabPay, Boost and Touch ‘n Go (TNG), have also pledged commitment to give added incentives on top of the RM30 allocation.

All the three players were selected based on their customer base and capacity to ensure a quick and effective roll-out of the programme.

“The e-Tunai Rakyat programme is part of Budget 2020 measures announced by the Ministry of Finance on Oct 11, 2019.

“All eligible Malaysians are free to choose any of the three e-wallet operators as their preferred e-wallet to get their RM30 free money,

“Once claimed, the recipient of the RM30 can use the money on goods and services accessible on their e-wallet platform,” said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in a press conference in Putrajaya yesterday.

Lim said the initiative intends to increase digital payment adoption among local consumers and merchants, particularly small retail business operators.

It is part of the government’s commitment to fulfil the shared prosperity agenda by reducing digitalisation barriers and enhancing financial inclusivity in the country.

Sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd was tasked to facilitate the implementation of the initiative.

Khazanah deputy MD Tengku Datuk Seri Azmil Zahruddin Raja Abdul Aziz said registration for the initiative includes reviews by the National Registry Department (NRD) and Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to ensure the eligibility of users.

“The initial check with NRD is to find out if the applicant’s identification card is valid and if the applicant is qualified. The IRB will do the second cross check to ensure the eligible applicant earns below RM100,000 a year.

“We will also investigate if applicants have claimed the money from other e-wallet operators. Applicants can only apply with one e-wallet operator,” he said.

Malaysians aged 18 years old and above with an income less than RM100,000 annually are qualified to join the programme.

The government has allocated RM450 million for the initiative which will stretch until March 14, 2020. Unspent portion will expire by the end of March 14.

E-wallet operators also expressed their excitement over the programme as it encourages the adoption of digital payment among users.

All three operators promised to include more advantages for recipients taking part in the programme.

Although the added incentives would vary from one operator to another, but the amount committed is expected to be rewarding for users.

Boost CEO Mohd Khairil Abdullah said its participating dealers are taking advantage of this set up to give extra offers to users.

“I’m very excited about this initiative, I think from the benefit of this programme, the endorsement that is coming from the ministry allows new sets of users who have been unsure about e-wallets to try it out,” he said.

Head of GrabPay Ooi Huey Tyng lauded the move by the government to encourage a cashless culture among the nation.

“Perhaps through this initiative we can double or triple the adoption and target we all aim for.

“I view this as an industry collaboration, because we can achieve that double or triple adoption rate if all of us work together. It would be difficult if it was only one e-wallet, so I think it’s important that all of us are working together to champion this,” she said.

TNG Digital Sdn Bhd CEO Ignatius Ong seconded Ooi and said the operators would appreciate if the number of users multiplied by the end of the campaign and for them to maintain their spending using e-wallets even after the programme ends.