KUALA LUMPUR, 16 Jan 2020:
The ‘e-Tunai Rakyat’ programme which distributes RM30 each to those eligible through e-wallet will certainly contribute towards a cashless society and in helping Malaysians especially from the B40 and M40 groups familiarise themselves with electronic payments.
Cashless payments are an attribute of the societies in developed nations, and as Malaysia moves in that direction, its people and merchants have to consider cashless payment methods too.
The platforms for cashless payments are already there with companies such as Touch n’ Go (TNG) Sdn Bhd, Boost, Grab and many others providing e-wallet services – and with the increasing number of local merchants around the country accepting cashless transactions, Malaysians are finding that going cashless is not that difficult after all.
Bernama went down to the shopping outlets in Ampang to get public feedback on the government’s ‘e-Tunai Rakyat’ programme initiative, and on the whole for many Malaysians, it is their first encounter with e-wallet payment.
School teacher Nor Sarafina Yusof, 48, said the ‘e-Tunai Rakyat’ initiative would encourage more consumers to use e-wallets but this requires more campaigns by the government to enlighten to those who were not as tech-savvy as the millennial generation.
“I know this is the first step towards a technologically advanced cashless society because I heard that many countries have switched to this method, but I am having a hard time getting myself to register through the mobile application. I may need to get one of my kids to help me out on this later and how to claim the RM30.
“Nonetheless, I do think it’s good that the government is finding ways to encourage us to use the e-wallet platforms.”
Salesman Fakrul Redza, 57, welcomed the ‘e-Tunai Rakyat’ programme but wondered if there was any plan in the future by the government to use e-wallets as a mechanism to channel welfare aid to the working class either among B40 or M40 groups in the country.
“I wonder what’s the next approach to this initiative, I understand it is to encourage more people to go cashless, but how can it be used to give financial aid to those in need without the hassle of the long waiting time or physically having to apply at the government centres.
“I think it may take some time for all of us to adapt to this mode of payment, especially my generation who have been using cash as long as we can remember, but this is the future.”
Besides that, a Boost e-wallet user Fatin Ainur Ramle, 28, encountered less hassle when trying to claim the incentive as it took her less than four hours to receive the RM30 on the application.
‘’Applied at 10am, got it at about 2pm. I use Boost to fuel up, and to me, it made it easy. For this effort, although the government only give RM30, it is enough to help the people know about e-wallet,’’ said the bank employee.
However, Eddie Tee said although the ‘e-Tunai Rakyat’ initiative by the government was praiseworthy, the implementation of the programme was still lacking in terms of its voucher redemption on the e-wallet platforms.
“Good initiative, but I still can’t access my Touch n Go e-wallet to get the RM30,” said the 30-year-old sales promoter, adding that the systems within the e-wallet platforms in the country should be upgraded to provide a more reliable and efficient service.
Meanwhile, since yesterday morning, mobile payment firms such as Grab, Boost, and Touch n’ Go, have been vigorously competing with each to entice consumers to apply for the ‘e-Tunai Rakyat’ programme through their applications, with the three giants introducing various promotions.
Boost is offering a maximum RM8,888 cash prize as part of their “Shake up to RM8,888” programme, GrabPay offers cash vouchers worth up to RM3,000 that can be used for specific products, services and GrabPay exclusive promotions. Touch ‘n Go eWallet is offering RM30 cashback plus a weekly lucky draw contest for all users who perform transactions from Jan 15 to March 10.
Not only that, beverage companies such as Tealive are also using the programme as a way to offer promotional prices for their products, including offering two beverages worth RM7 each for only RM10.
The ‘e-Tunai Rakyat’ programme was announced by the government in the Budget 2020 as a digital stimulus costing RM450 million, aimed at encouraging consumers as well as local merchants, particularly those engaged in small enterprises and retail businesses to adopt the e-wallet and digital payment methods.
Malaysians aged 18 and above, earning less than RM 100,000 annually are eligible for the RM30 payout.
The government had Khazanah Nasional Bhd to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of the initiative with the cooperation of various other parties, including the National Registration Department and Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia.