Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the country’s central bank, has been promoting and enabling e-payment adoption in Malaysia for years. In 2018, BNM introduced the e-payment initiative “Bayor Dok Gune Pitih” on Redang Island, which achieved a 73% migration to e-payment among small businesses and merchants. Since then, BNM has implemented various policies, including the e-payment roadmap in 2011 and the Financial Sector Blueprint (FSBP) 2022-2026, to achieve its goal of increasing the number of e-payment transactions by at least 15% annually, reaching over 400 e-payment transactions per capita by 2026.
BNM started a five-year e-payment campaign called e-Duit (Selamat, Senang, Segera) in October 2022. The goal of the campaign is to make consumers and small businesses aware of the different e-payment initiatives and their benefits. During the pandemic, e-payment usage has spiked and stayed high, with 79% of adults in Malaysia using e-payments according to the Global Findex 2021 report by the World Bank. Malaysia was also rated the third fastest growing market for real-time payments with a CAGR of 83.9% in the 2021 Real-Time Report of Payments by ACI Worldwide, resulting in an estimated cost savings of US$484 million for businesses and consumers and unlocking US$394 million of additional economic output.
The benefits of e-payment are far-reaching, especially among micro-SMEs, where e-payment has led to higher sales from an expanded client base, better cash management, inventory, and record keeping, and more opportunities to secure financing from financial institutions. In 3Q 2022, e-payment transactions hit RM22.2 trillion, an increase of RM2.1 trillion over 3Q2021, with online banking transactions increasing by 8.2% to 2.8 billion transactions, contactless payment transactions contributing to 67.9% of card transactions at physical merchants, and 1.4 million merchants registered a DuitNow QR code.
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BNM has a strong belief in partnering with relevant stakeholders in the e-payment space, collaborating with MyDIGITAL Corporation, state governments, Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA), the Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs, financial institutions, local authorities, business chambers, and consumer associations to encourage e-payment adoption. BNM also places equal importance on awareness and education initiatives to build public resilience against scams and fraud attempts, such as ongoing nationwide financial literacy and financial scam awareness campaigns. Initiatives also address issues faced by local communities, such as facilitating maintenance collection at PPR Padang Tembak, Penang, and promoting the benefits of digitalization to merchants and customers. The central bank thinks that the high number of e-payments will encourage small businesses to switch to e-payments, creating a cashless supply chain ecosystem.