KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — The government has allocated RM18 million for local banks to provide about 30 mobile banking units in the country, including Sabah and Sarawak, which will cover 250 rural zones and sub-districts.
Deputy Finance Minister II Yamani Hafez Musa said the initiative, launched in July in Sarawak and end-September in Sabah, aimed to facilitate wider access to banking services.
“Through this initiative, recipients of government cash assistance can access various banking services including opening accounts; making deposits, withdrawals and money transfers; paying bills; as well as digital banking,” he said.
He was explaining on the distribution of assistance, especially the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR), when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the Royal Address in Parliament today.
Yamani said almost eight million BPR recipients, or 94 per cent, had a bank account while six per cent or nearly 500,000 people used Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) to get the cash aid.
He said data on almost 20,000 cash aid recipients without a bank account had also been uploaded to BSN’s database.
According to him, this is to facilitate future payouts at a convenient time for recipients without having to wait for the cashing out programme and the mobile banks to arrive at their location.
“It shows that the government is always committed to ensure the aid is effective and reaches the target groups, especially those affected by Covid-19,” he said.
Yamani said currently, the government’s cash aid payments were still mandated exclusively to BSN based on its extensive branch network.
“However, appointing other banks as agents for distributing cash payments may be considered based on the need,” he said.
With 390 branches nationwide, BSN has the largest service network among the country’s banking institutions. It has 179 branches in non-urban areas. — Bernama