Adopt a Cashless Society, World Health Organisation Encourages

If you’ve made any business transactions using cash during the movement control order period, you may want to consider joining the cashless society. Due to reports that physical exchange and circulation of currency notes could potentially transmit the coronavirus, countries leaders around the world are encouraged to reconsider the use of cash. Not surprisingly, being a ‘Cashless Hero’ may even help to flatten the curve.

Banks in China have begun to disinfect and even destroy banknotes to mitigate the spread of the virus. (Source Images: Getty Images)

Speed Up the Mindset Change towards a Cashless Society

Consumers and SMEs are turning to digital channels out of necessity during these challenging times with adoption rates increasing at a rapid pace. COVID-19 turned out to be the catalyst that finally brings digital payments and banking fully into the mainstream.

Prior to the crisis, concerns were raised from grassroots leaders that it would be hard to convince the bottom 40% income group (B40), senior citizens, and rural folks to go digital. Bank Negara expects digital banks to focus on the “underserved and unserved” which are the SME, micro-SME and B40 segments.

The enforcement by the authorities or government is also crucial to move the cashless society forward. As part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Penang government is planning to make all public markets go cashless by June 2020.

Go Digital Campaign by Bank Negara Malaysia to help SME’s business to future proof their business. (Source Images: Bank Negara Facebook Page)

Leveraging on Payment Infrastructures

While the COVID-19 pandemic is still evolving and need constant response from leaders across the country. Leaders are grappling with the impact of mass unemployment and social disruption as economic are forced to shut down to limit transmission. Speed is key and leaders need to act fast to deliver social assistance to minimise the economic impact caused by the pandemic.

This is where technology can help to build more robust payment infrastructure to ensure delivery of assistance could be done easier. An example is the national payment Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) assistance which is among the measures of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is done online. Taking this as a lesson, it should be part of the agenda to increase the efficiency of the nation’s payment systems for a better delivery of social assistance.

Towards a Cashless Society

Bank Negara Malaysia is targeting to increase the number of e-payment transactions per capita to 200 from 44 transactions under its 10-year plan towards a cashless society.

The adoption rate of digital payment is picking up and the outbreak has paved the way and accelerated Bank Negara’s 10 year plan targeting the increase of the number of e-payment transactions as it seeks a shift toward a cashless society.

A cashless society is one that is more easily governed. One of the moves by the government to propel the contribution of SMEs to the country’s income is through the speeding up of its transformation to the digital economy. Cashless trading should be encouraged and incentivised as key components of the digital economy by being part of the need for clear exit strategy. This is further emphasised by Tan Sri Michael Yeoh, President KSI Strategic Institute and Deputy Chairman of The Economic Club of Kuala Lumpur on his open letter to the government.

Financial inclusion might be the new norm where everyone, everywhere, can access and use the digital financial services they need to build economic security and resiliency.

Learn about various digital services and platforms that Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation(MDEC), in collaboration with local technology companies curated to help you to go cashless here.

This article is brought to you by In.Tech Conference organised by PAPER + TOAST.

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