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Cyberjaya: First Malaysian City to Adopt National QR Code for Cashless Payments

First Malaysian City to Adopt a National QR Code
Image Credits: Digital News Asia, Article

Cyberjaya became the first Malaysian city to adopt a national QR code for cashless payments. The initiative is part of a collaboration between MOF Inc’s (a body corporate under Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance), Cyberview Sdn Bhd and the Central Bank’s affiliate Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet).

It was noted that through this initiative, Cyberjaya will be the first city in Malaysia to adopt a national QR code under Bank Negara Malaysia’s Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework (ICTF).

Cyberview will spearhead this with its partner, PayNet, to encourage more businesses to adopt cashless solutions and further ease payment transactions for communities in Cyberjaya.

A national QR code has been in the making as part of the ICTF, which mandates PayNet – as the country’s shared payment infrastructure provider – to implement an interoperable and common QR standard for Malaysia.

It was also noted that the proliferation of e-wallets and QR codes – while a boon to the digital economy – may confuse and overwhelm consumers and merchants, who have to deal with multiple QR codes and different e-wallet providers at the same time.

A common national QR code, called DuitNow QR, will allow users to make payments from any participating bank or e-wallet mobile app, while merchants would only need to display one QR code to accept payments.

The DuitNow National QR standard established under Bank Negara Malaysia’s ICTF enables a merchant to sign up with one Acquirer which will then eventually enable 22 million bank customers and millions of e-Wallet customers to make payments.

Currently, nine banks are already offering DuitNow QR in their mobile banking apps, with 23 banks and four major e-wallets expected to implement DuitNow QR over the next six months.

Malaysia’s Cashless Journey

Making Cyberjaya the launch pad of a national QR code is part of the city’s own cashless journey. Malaysia’s Minister of Finance Lim noted that Cyberjaya’s plan to go cashless started in 2018 with an objective to secure more than 80% merchants to accept at least one e-payment mode, which can either be credit or debit cards or e-wallets.

In addition to shops, Cyberjaya Farmers Market and Pasar Malam sellers will also be digitally enabled to accept e-payments, boosting inclusivity.

DuitNow QR’s implementation in Cyberjaya follows the recent e-Tunai Rakyat initiative, an RM450 million incentive wherein eligible Malaysians aged 18 and above will receive RM30 in one of three e-wallet providers from the government for the period between 15 January 2020 to 14 March 2020.

The initiative has seen an encouraging response from Malaysian citizens, with a total of 2.9 million applications and 2.2 million approvals. A total of RM66 million has already been disbursed thus far.

E-wallets and electronic payments in Malaysia could do with the boost. However, despite the efforts and initiatives in the past two decades, only 5% of total daily payments in Malaysia is cashless.

Going cashless is a government priority as one of the means to curb corruption. Cashless transactions are digitally recorded, thus leaving little to no room to accept or give bribes.

E-payments are also an important and secure means to ensure that the correct parties receive the government’s targeted subsidies without any unnecessary handling fees or commissions.

Another important benefit of going cashless is to improve tax collections so that public infrastructure can be further improved.

In his final remarks, the Finance Minister stated that there will be initiatives throughout 2020 aimed at encouraging cashless payments and changing customer behaviour.

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