As announced during the tabling of Budget 2020, the government will distribute RM30 to all eligible Malaysians to promote the use of digital payments. According to reports, the government is currently testing the e-Tunai Rakyat system which is in line with the plan of distributing the one-off RM30 credit to Malaysian eWallet users. The biggest question is, what on earth is e-Tunai Rakyat?
Most local news titles such as The Star, MalayMail and The Sun are calling it an eWallet system and software for the people. The name “e-Tunai Rakyat” does sound like an eWallet but it was also referred to as the federal government’s initiative to encourage the public, small businesses and real stores to accept and use digital payments.
While responding to a question by Rembau MP, Khairy Jamaluddin, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that e-Tunai Rakyat is currently being tested together with eWallet providers and government agencies. He added that Khazanah Nasional Berhad will be making an announcement on the participating eWallet providers under this program. At the moment, the government has allocated RM450 million to Khazanah Nasional to distribute RM30 to 15 million Malaysians.
Lim Guan Eng says that the ministry will consider increasing the amount if the allocation is fully claimed and has successfully boosted spending. He told the Dewan Rakyat “If it is well received, the initiative can be repeated to involve more users, merchants and e-wallet providers.”
The RM30 digital stimulus will be targeted at all Malaysians aged 18 and above that has an annual income of less than RM100,000. You’ll need an e-Wallet account that’s verified and redemption will be available between 1st January to 29th February 2020.
There’s hardly any info on “e-Tunai Rakyat” and we hope it is just an online platform where Malaysians can redeem their free money to their prefered eWallet account. With multiple eWallet options in the country, it doesn’t make sense for the government to introduce another eWallet. Not only they would need to think about the acquisition of users but also grow the network of merchants that will accept the payment.
In other news, the Health Ministry has taken the initiative to go cashless by adopting Boost eWallet for medical services. As a pilot project, Boost eWallet is currently implemented in four locations namely Cheras Health Clinic, Kuala Lumpur Health Clinic, Precinct 18 Putrajaya Health Clinic and Seremban Health Clinic. According to Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dzulkefly, they aim to expand the eWallet acceptance nationwide in the next two years as long as their facilities have internet access.