Pikom says increase in e-payment transactions can enhance financial inclusion

KUALA LUMPUR: The drive to increase e-payment transactions is part of a larger strategy to enhance financial inclusion and reach underbanked and unbanked population in Malaysia, said National Tech Association of Malaysia (Pikom).

Its chairman Ong Chin Seong told Business Times boosting e-payment usage can enhance transparency and efficiency in the economy, benefiting everyone.

"It can reduce reliance on cash, which can be costly and inconvenient to manage, and help to prevent fraud and corruption.

"The push for higher e-payment transactions in Malaysia is likely to be part of a multi-faceted strategy to promote financial inclusion and improve the overall efficiency and a push for digital economy," he said.

Ong said digital wallets and e-payments are often perceived as more accessible than traditional bank accounts, as they can be easily set up on mobile phones.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), 99.3 per cent of Malaysians had access to it in 2023.

"E-payment transactions have risen to 11.5 billion or 343 transactions per capita in 2023. We would expect about 20 per cent growth each year with the target of 400 transactions per capita by 2026 clearly within reach," he said.

Ong said it also important to increase revenue per transaction and expand the range of services and businesses providing e-payment options.

Today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia could achieve 400 e-payment transactions per capita sooner than its 2026 target.

Stressing the importance of financial inclusivity, Anwar commended newly-launched Boost Bank for its initiatives in offering services tailored to diverse demographics.

He mentioned that the Digital Ministry, led by Minister Gobind Singh Deo, will support Boost Bank by providing appropriate ideas and recommendations.

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