KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Since the pandemic struck in 2020, more and more services (and businesses) have transitioned to going cashless.

Even the payment of summons in courts here has gone cashless. In 2020, eJamin was introduced so bail payments are also now cashless.

“Generally, the current system requires one to have a bank account to make transactions as summons can be paid via debit card and bail can be paid via online banking, JomPAY and Cash Deposit Machines,” said Noor Azam Adnan, operations assistant at the Sessions and Magistrates’ Court in Ampang, Selangor.

It should be noted that according to consulting firm Bain & Company, around 55 per cent of Malaysia’s adult population is still underbanked and unbanked, New Straits Times reported in 2021.

So who would find going cashless in the courts a hindrance?

Some lawyers note that the current cashless system can be a problem for the older generation.

“It’s fast and easy for the clients, but for old persons, it can be problematic,” said lawyer Muhammad Amir Sahmat.

Latheefa Beebi Koya from Lawyers for Liberty also said that it can be difficult for older people to navigate the system.

However, there have been instances where courts require bailors to be below 60 years of age, deterring senior citizens from becoming bailors in some cases, lawyer Chan Yen Hui revealed.

Chan added that one actual downside of the system is that persons with frozen bank accounts and those who are blacklisted from opening another bank account due to their involvement in scams would be ineligible to become bailors.

“For example, my client has a Maybank account and it was used as a mule account. His Maybank account is frozen, and he is not able to open another account at CIMB Bank or Public Bank Berhad because his name is blacklisted by Bank Negara Malaysia, so in short, he cannot be a bailor,” she explained.

From October 2022 until June 2023, over 40,000 mule accounts where an account holder allows criminals to hold or transfer money acquired illegally have been detected and disrupted by financial institutions, according to Bank Negara Malaysia’s “Key Developments in the First Half of 2023” report.

Apart from not being able to qualify as bailors if they do not possess a bank account, these people will also have to find other means to pay summons as these have to be cashless too.

Still, going cashless is the way of the world now and people have to get used to it.

“To me, the cashless system is easier,” lawyer Wan Nur Afifah said.