Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng delivers his speech during the launch of Cashless Ecosystem For Cyberjaya with Malaysia National QR in Cyberjaya. -Bernama

CYBERJAYA: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today outlined two aspects which must first be addressed in order for the government to realise its aspiration to transform Malaysia into a cashless society.

Lim said that to begin with, central payment infrastructure providers must be in place before the plan is implemented.

He said that the lack of the central infrastructure could be behind the low adoption of cashless payment, which currently stands at only five per cent of total daily payments in Malaysia, despite initiatives introduced in the past two decades.

“E-payment facilities must be widely available, safe and simple. They must be as convenient as cash.

“This is where having central payment infrastructure providers such as PayNet (Payment Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd) would help increase adoption.

“Making available shared infrastructure that includes banks and fintechs (financial technologies) such as retail payment platforms, would contribute positively to this objective,” Lim said in his speech at the launch of Cashless Ecosystem For Cyberjaya with Malaysia National QR (quick response code) here, today.

Present were Cyberview Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badr Mohd Zahri, and its managing director Mohd Najib Ibrahim. Also in attendance were PayNet Group chief executive officer Peter Schiesser and its chairman Datuk Ahma Hizzad Baharuddin.

To spur the development of a cashless economy, Lim said the government recently rolled out the RM30 e-Tunai Rakyat incentive worth RM450 million, as announced in the 2020 Budget.

He said the incentive could stimulate the nation’s economy and has received encouraging response, with 2.2 million of 2.9 million applications approved with RM66 million disbursed to the people as of 9pm on Sunday.

Lim reiterated that efforts by the present administration to go cashless reflect the seriousness and commitment by the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition to curb corruption and subsequently restore the people’s trust towards the government.

He cited the projection made by the United Nations, which estimates that US$2 trillion or RM8.11 trillion is wasted on corruption annually.

“All transactions (under ePayment) are recorded, leaving no room to accept or give bribes.

“It is also an important and secure means to ensure that the correct parties receive our targeted subsidies, without any unnecessary handling fees or commissions.

“Another benefit of going cashless is to improve tax collections so that public infrastructure can be further improved,” he said.

On the establishment of the cashless ecosystem in Cyberjaya, Lim said that it is a collaboration between Cyberview Sdn Bhd and PayNet, which is mutually reinforcing in many ways.

“As an affiliate of Bank Negara Malaysia, PayNet has a national mandate, which is to accelerate Malaysia’s adoption of e-payments.

“PayNet also operates, among others, the national debit card scheme, MyDebit, FPX for e-commerce payments and JOMPay for e-billing as well as DuitNow, IBG (interbank GIRO) and RENTAS (real time gross settlement system) that are widely used throughout the country.

“In fulfilling its mandate as a Global Tech Hub, Cyberview has put in place necessary infrastructure and further enhances the city’s tech ecosystem with e-payments as a key enabler,” Lim added.