The Week That Was: No cash, no problem


  • The Week That Was
  • Monday, 09 Dec 2019

From left: Ramly Group director Siti Hayu Ramly, Ramly, Hong Leong Bank business corporate banking managing director Yow Kuan Tuck, HLISB’s chairman Datuk Dr Md Hamzah Md Kassim and CEO Jasani Abdullah unveiling their tie-up at a Ramly store. — HLISB

While bigger companies like supermarkets, petrol stations and cinemas have jumped on the e-wallet bandwagon, soon smaller stores – and even the neighbourhood burger stand – will accept cashless payments.

Local fast food company Ramly Group announced its collaboration with Hong Leong Islamic Bank (HLISB) to enable cashless payments at its bistros, marts and kiosks nationwide.

These brick-and-mortar stores are adopting the bank’s cashless payment merchant point-of-sales terminals, which accept most e-wallets from Samsung, Boost, Touch ‘n Go, WeChat and AliPay.

The company is also planning to roll this out to independent stalls and franchisees that carry the Ramly Burger brand.

Ramly Group chairman Datuk Dr Ramly Mokni said the company realised its customers want cashless payment options and that such technologies would enable the burger brand to operate more efficiently and save cost.

Schiesser (left) and Fave Group ­founder Joel Neoh shaking hands to mark their business collaboration. — FaveSchiesser (left) and Fave Group ­founder Joel Neoh shaking hands to mark their business collaboration. — Fave

Another collaboration pushing for cashless payments is the one between Fave and Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet), the company behind DuitNow QR, the national QR standard.

A Bernama report stated that through the partnership, Fave will assist local merchants to adopt DuitNow QR and enable them to eventually accept cashless payments through popular e-wallets.

Fave stated it is targeting 100,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to use cashless payments and digital solutions over the next year.

PayNet group chief executive officer Peter Schiesser explained that with DuitNow QR, a merchant only needs to sign up with one bank, then customers of all participating banks and e-wallets would be able to make DuitNow QR payments to the merchant using a mobile app of the user’s choice.

This makes it easier for customers to keep using their preferred e-wallet, rather than downloading a new one to match a store’s payment methods.

The eSports team representing Malaysia at SEA Games 2019 will compete in six medal events in Manila. — AZMAN GHANI/The StarThe eSports team representing Malaysia at SEA Games 2019 will compete in six medal events in Manila. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s contingent to the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines now includes athletes from a formerly sidelined category: eSports.

The nation sent 24 eSports athletes to compete in six medal events from Dec 5 to 10 at the Filoil Flying V Center in Manila. The squad was led by team manager Firdaus Hashim and head coach Ahmad Syazwan.

The games being played include multiplayer online battle arena games Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Dota 2 and Arena Of Valor, real-time strategy game Starcraft II, collectible card game Hearthstone and fighting game Tekken 7.

Viewers can catch the final rounds for Dota 2, Arena Of Valor and Hearthstone today and all Tekken 7 matches tomorrow.

The games are available on Astro’s CH800 eSports channel and on the Astro Go app. RTM also has a livestreaming site covering SEA games.

Is watching all the eSports athletes in action inspiring you to dive back into videogames? If you’ve missed out on the latest games, you might want to purchase them before digital tax hits.

A file photo of Google employees walking out of the entrance hall of Google France in Paris, where the government is moving to tax digital services. In Malaysia, Google is preparing to deal with digital taxes too. — APA file photo of Google employees walking out of the entrance hall of Google France in Paris, where the government is moving to tax digital services. In Malaysia, Google is preparing to deal with digital taxes too. — AP

Google Malaysia has announced that a 6% digital tax will be levied on its services starting next year.

“We always comply with the tax laws in every country we operate in, and we continue doing so as tax laws evolve. To be in compliance with Malaysia’s new Sales & Services Tax, we will charge a 6% Services Tax to our clients in the country, starting from Jan 1, 2020, once the law comes into effect,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to The Star.

Google has confirmed that the 6% tax will be applicable to G Suite services thus far but stated that it will notify users later as to whether the tax would also apply to its other services, such as YouTube Premium, as well as purchases made on its Google Play store.

The Malaysian government first announced that a 6% digital tax will be imposed on foreign service providers effective Jan 1, 2020 at last year’s Budget tabling.

The Royal Malaysian Customs Department’s Service Tax Industry Guides has a comprehensive list of digital services, which includes software, applications, videogames, music and film streaming services, subscription-based media, database and Cloud storage services, advertising and online platforms, as well as search engines and social networks.

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