RM 450 million stimulus via e-wallet players in MY

The government is on track to grant up to RM 450 million to citizens between January 15 and March 14, 2020 in its bid to grow Malaysia’s digital economy.

Tabled as part of Budget 2020, e-Tunai Rakyat will target 15 million citizens aged 18 and above as well as earning below RM 100,000 per year. Eligible recipients will receive a one-off credit of RM 30 via e-wallet participating service providers.

Khazanah, the nation’s sovereign wealth fund, will spearhead this effort alongside the National Registration Department (NRD) and Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

Boost, GrabPay, and Touch ‘n Go e-Wallet have been selected to participate.

Criteria for selection include having an extensive merchant network, large user base, technical prowess, and the manpower critical to ensuring smooth and successful implementation of the necessary systems.

Citizens redeeming their RM 15 e-credit can spend on a wide variety of products and services, including toll and parking payments, F&B, movies, groceries, utilities, and so forth.

Boost has further promised exciting deals with its 125,000 partner merchants nationwide to entice new users.

Winner of this year’s Best e-Wallet award, GrabPay expressed delight at being selected to participate in the digital stimulus initiative. It applauds the government’s progressive move towards driving adoption of cashless payment among Malaysians.

Putting cash directly into the hands of ordinary Malaysians will not just stimulate domestic consumption but also encourage Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to innovate and go cash-free.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s Financial Sector Blueprint for 2011-2020 estimates that the country saves as much as 1% of GDP each year if it fully transitions into digital payments.

Having the nation’s three largest e-wallet players participate in e-Tunai Rakyat also encourages healthy competition among these players, which is great news for consumers.

E-wallets have come a long way in Malaysia. In 2016, there were 28.

To date, the Bank Negara has issued a total of 48 e-money licenses. These recipients include five banks as well as the three top e-wallet providers participating in the e-Tunai Rakyat incentive.

Of course, leading e-wallet providers are expected to battle it out in a bloody war of cash backs and promotions to win the hearts, and wallets, of fellow Malaysians.

Given how a mere 22% of respondents in a PwC Malaysia survey last year indicated they have used an e-wallet before, the local e-wallet space is ripe for the taking.

While Vietnam and Singapore have commanded much of the excitement around digital transformation in Southeast Asia, Malaysia could very well evolve to a sophisticated digital economy ahead of expectations.

Touch ‘n Go’s e-Wallet gears up for e-Tunai Rakyat 2020.