KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 — The federal government is on track to launch its e-Tunai Rakyat programme January next year with a RM450 million one-off digital stimulus meant to encourage the use of e-wallets and digital payments and cut back cash circulation.

The Finance Ministry in a statement today said that it has appointed Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah) to facilitate and coordinate the initiative. 

“The e-Tunai Rakyat programme is in line with the Government’s Shared Prosperity agenda which aims to lower barriers to access digital technology and to make the digitalisation process inclusive for all,” said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“We are confident that the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative will greatly benefit Malaysian consumers and merchants.” 

Malaysians aged 18 and above and earning less than RM100,000 annually are eligible to receive RM30 each upon subscribing to the e-wallet service provider of their choice.

Consumers can also expect additional incentives from their e-wallet service providers themselves. Lim said this addition aims to encourage users over the two-month period of the initiative. 

Khazanah was tasked to lead the implementation, which will cover multiple areas like establishing the necessary mechanisms, processes and procedures for the initiative.

Selected e-wallet service providers will provide a ready platform of a large number of active users and a broad merchant network, which Lim said the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative can leverage on.

Lim said the selection process was based on established criteria to facilitate a quick, effective and successful rollout of the programme by January 2020. 

The sovereign fund is expected to release more information on the application process and the terms and conditions soon.

“The overall implementation work facilitated by Khazanah is a comprehensive effort to ensure that the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative is successfully delivered within the given timeframe that provides satisfactory and secure user experience,” Lim added.

The e-Tunai Rakyat was announced under Budget 2020 as part of a wider push to digitise the economy.