Youths key in digitalisation push

PUTRAJAYA: The extensive use of e-wallet, particularly among youths, should encourage businesses to adopt cashless payment, says Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had accelerated the shift towards digitalisation and automation in daily activities where almost everything was done online, be it virtual interaction, meetings, seminars, education, lectures, banking and even shopping.

“Malaysia has the highest number of digital natives according to the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union and as digital natives, youths play an important role to spur and ensure the country’s digitalisation initiatives are successful.

“By giving youths financial assistance via e-wallet, it will encourage businesses to go cashless to meet high usage.

“I believe youths can lead the way in exploring cashless shopping and this in turn will encourage businesses to adopt this payment method to draw customers to shop with them, ” he said during the virtual launch of the eBelia initiative yesterday.

The programme, where e-wallet credit is given to youths, has been increased to RM150 and will benefit some two million Malaysians aged between 18 and 20, and full-time students.

E-wallet providers involved in the programme are BigPay, Boost, ShopeePay and Touch ‘n Go e-Wallet. The initiative can be claimed from now until July 22 and be used until July 31.

Muhyiddin also hoped that through the e-wallet credit programme for youths, they would support local entrepreneurs in return.

“To youths, please take this opportunity to support our local entrepreneurs, who are mainly youths as well, ” he said.

He said the government had also adopted digitalisation of its services, including going cashless for payments so that the public no longer need to queue at counters.

He said about 60% of the government’s collection last year was done via e-payment and it had set a target for cashless transactions for all government services by 2022.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said youths would continue to be given importance in drawing up Budget 2022, adding that engagements would be carried out with the group to hear their views, aspirations and to identify their needs and concerns.

He observed that e-wallet had gained traction among Malaysians, citing that the e-Penjana programme saw the registration of four million new e-wallet users and more than 36,000 businesses had registered to provide cashless service.

“We hope this will continue to gain momentum, especially through the eBelia programme so that there will be a continuity in the government’s efforts to shift towards financial digitalisation, ” he said.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican thanked the Prime Minister and the Finance Ministry for accommodating youths’ requests.

“The eBelia initiative is another effort to encourage cashless payment culture among the public, including youths. To the youths, spend wisely, ” he said.

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