Penang launches cashless initiative in public markets to help curb spread of Covid-19, says CM

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government today launched the cashless initiative at public markets throughout Penang as a measure to reduce contact between buyers and traders in these places. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government today launched the cashless initiative at public markets throughout Penang as a measure to reduce contact between buyers and traders in these places. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, July 18 — The Penang government today launched the cashless initiative at public markets throughout the state as a measure to reduce contact between buyers and traders in these places.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the move is one of the state’s initiatives to curb the spread of Covid-19, and towards this end, 282 digital trainers have been appointed to act as a guide to traders and consumers in using the e-payment platforms.

“The state government will appoint 250 digital promoter trainers and 32 community digital trainers (in the near future), who will be assigned to public markets to provide guidance to traders and buyers to better understand e-payment methods,” he told reporters after launching the “Cashless Initiative Ceremony at all Penang State Public Markets” at the Bayan Baru market here today.

He said the move would also reduce the digital divide among the people in the state.

Chow said the appointed digital trainer will be paid RM500 for the promoter and RM1,000 for the community digital trainer for a period of six months and a year respectively.

“The state government is also targeting that by December, 90 per cent of the total 56 public markets will accept e-payments, while 70 per cent of the total 5,000 merchants will accept e-payments.

“Besides that, we are also targeting at least 20,000 transactions using digital payment methods,” he said.

Chow said to encourage the use of cashless payments, the state government has invited 17 banking institutions and non-bank electronic money issuers to offer various incentives to traders.

“The incentives include the exemption of registration fees, rental payments, deposits, installation and annual maintenance fees for POS terminals for a certain period as well as the reduction of Merchant Discount Rate charges and rewards for e-payment merchants,” he said.

The 17 banking institutions and non-bank electronic money issuers involved in the migration to e-payments in public markets are Maybank, CIMB Bank, Public Bank, Hong Leong Bank, Ambank, Touch ‘n Go Digital, Grab, Boost, Shopee, Razer, WavPay, MCash, KiplePay, GoBiz, iPay88, GHL, Fave and PayNet.

Meanwhile, State Housing, Local Government, and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the initiative started as a pilot project at the Taman Tun Sardon market on April 26.

“Since the cashless initiative in the public market started in April, the use of e-payments in the public market has been very encouraging with 14 major public markets in Penang (including Taman Tun Sardon market) receiving e-payments and 991 public market traders having an e-payment platform.

“So far, more than 2,500 trading transactions worth more than RM55,000 have been made by consumers,” he said. — Bernama

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