Deal enables cashless wages for construction workers


Abdul Rafik (left) and Ramasamy shaking on the alliance forged to serve the unbanked community.

MERCHANTRADE Asia Sdn Bhd (Merchantrade Asia) and the Construction Labour Exchange Centre Bhd (CLAB) have forged an alliance to serve the unbanked community, comprising both foreign workers and Malaysians, in the construction industry.

Through the collaboration, CLAB will facilitate contractors to pay salaries via top-up direct into Merchantrade Money Visa Prepaid card, in line with the government’s initiative of promoting cashless wages and in meeting the financial flow of unbanked workers.

Merchantrade Asia is a leading digital money services business operator and e-money issuer while CLAB is responsible for bringing and redistributing of foreign workers catering to the needs of organisations and companies in the construction industry.

Merchantrade Asia managing director Ramasamy K. Veeran said the collaboration, which started in August 2019, was aimed at providing digital salary payments, especially to foreign workers in the construction industry.

“By having their salaries credited into the Merchantrade Money Visa card, foreign workers can send money to their families in their home countries digitally, thereby eliminating the need for contractors to pay salaries in cash.

“This is especially critical now, as Covid-19 has restricted the movement of foreign workers in cashing out their wages to make payments, in addition to mitigating several other risks such as theft, ” he added.

To date, the initiative with CLAB has roped in some 2,000 foreign workers and is expected to increase to 4,000 by the first quarter of 2021.

“With more than 165 registered companies, coupled with the support of the Home and Human Resource Ministries to promote the facilitation of cashless wages, CLAB has met the objective by roping workers in the unbanked segment through this collaboration, ” said CLAB chief executive officer Abdul Rafik Abdul Rajis.

“CLAB will be able to monitor salary transactions, location of workers as well as Social Security Organisation (Socso) deductions for foreign workers registered under CLAB, ” he added.

Merchantrade Money Visa Prepaid card also offers a variety of other services and benefits, such as remittances, mobile reloads, online purchases, personal accident insurance coverage with basic plan as low as for RM5 per month, multilingual application and customer service in eight languages – English, Malay, Nepali, Indonesian, Bengali, Tamil, Chinese and Burmese – directly from the Merchantrade mobile wallet application.

“Merchantrade Money currently holds e-wallet size of up to RM20,000. This caters to the those who need to transact digitally while providing convenience in their daily lives, ” added Ramasamy.

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