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Malaysia ranks 19th in government e-payment adoption

According to a recent report, a study by a global digital payments service provider has placed Malaysia at 19th among 73 countries in government e-payments adoption.

The Country Manager for Malaysia stated that the study ranks governments by quantifying their e-payment capabilities based on various indicators such as policies and infrastructure.

He noted that the government in Malaysia has taken major steps to move the country into the digital age.

Having one of the highest scores in Southeast Asia is a testament to the government’s efforts in transforming the country to become a digital nation.

The Manager noted that supporting factors such as infrastructure and socioeconomic conditions also played a crucial role in increasing the adoption of digital payments.

Malaysia has also done extremely well in the policy context of government’s commitment to e-payments security, support for fintech innovation and financial inclusion.

Contained in Visa’s Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) global index and benchmarking study, the ranking was based on seven criteria – transactions between citizen and government (C2G), government-to-citizen (G2C), business-to-government (B2G), government-to-business (G2B), as well as the infrastructure, socioeconomic and policy environments to enable e-payments.

Of the seven categories, Malaysia was ranked first with a perfect score of 100 points, along with Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Singapore in the B2G transaction category due to various initiatives in the payments space.

Malaysia is also ranked eighth in the C2G and G2C transaction categories, where citizens can access a range of C2G and G2C transactions through an interoperable platform.

Norway tops the rank followed by France and Denmark.

Governmental efforts

According to a Government publication from November 2018, the Minister of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia believes there are 5 building blocks that need to be placed in order to boost digital adoption.

The five building blocks are:

  1. high-quality, world-class infrastructure at affordable prices
  2. tech talent development
  • increased Cyber Security vigilance
  1. development of platforms and enablers such as Digital ID, open data and open APIs and
  2. the legislation, policies and industry structures that support the growth of the digital economy.

Over the last few months, the Minister made announcements regarding high-quality, world-class infrastructure at affordable prices.

The Ministry has reduced broadband prices for the Malaysians which, in turn, has stimulated higher demand for fixed broadband services.

In addition, the Ministry officially launched the public consultation for the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) in October 2018. It is an ambitious plan to connect the entire country within 3-5 years at world-class standards – minimum 30 Mbps speeds, gigabit at selected areas at affordable rates.

Digital adoption will accelerate when people feel that access to the Internet is safe and secure. As such, Malaysia through my ministry has been championing the cause of cybersecurity through cross-border cooperation. Within the country, the ministry and agencies have begun to deepen their working cooperation with the Commercial Crimes Division as the serious crimes of the future will take place in cyberspace.

Data is the ‘fuel’ of the digital economy. Along with other agencies such as MCMC, MDEC and MAMPU, the Ministry is working hard to ensure that the appropriate platforms and enablers such as Digital ID, open data and open APIs are available.

As such, the Minister announced a new initiative by his ministry together with MAMPU and JPDP that aims to develop an open data exchange platform. This platform is intended to provide government data while encouraging the industry to share data.

Thus, the Minister noted that the government intends to do to increase digital adoption. However, this will require the support and participation of the industry. The Government and its partners will work, educate, invest and show the people of Malaysia that digital adoption is not only good but an absolute necessity in the current world.

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