Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd announced on Friday that the country’s leading e-wallet players including Touch ‘n Go e-wallet, Boost, and GrabPay, have been chosen to participate in the Federal Government’s MYR 450 million [USD 108.66 million] e-Tunai Rakyat initiative, according to local news agency Bernama.
The e-Tunai Rakyat program is a Budget 2020 initiative introduced by the government to encourage the use of cashless payments among Malaysians for safer, cashless, and more efficient transactions. The program is scheduled for launch on 15 January 2020, and aims to distribute a one-off MYR 30 [USD 7.24] digital incentive to 15 million eligible Malaysians which can be used at any participating merchants.
“Malaysians 18 years of age and above and who earn less than RM100,000 annually will be eligible to receive RM30 each through any of the participating e-wallets,” the sovereign fund said in a statement today, as quoted by the news report.
The users can use the e-credit to purchase goods and services available using the e-wallet of their choice for the duration of the program, which runs from January 15 to March 14, 2020.
Three e-wallet service providers were selected based on their large number of active users and wide merchant networks, technical expertise, as well as financial and manpower strength to build the necessary systems, processes and procedures, among others.
“We welcome and fully support our government’s progressive move to accelerate the adoption of e-wallets and digital payments among Malaysians. While mobile penetration and the awareness of mobile payments is at 88%, according to Nielsen, only 8% of Malaysians use e-wallets,” said Sean Goh, country head at Grab Malaysia in a press statement.
Khazanah was appointed by the Ministry of Finance to facilitate and coordinate the implementation and launch of the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative within the given timeframe.