FGV pioneering e-wallet payments in Malaysia’s plantation industry

FGV is pioneering the implementation of an e-wallet cashless payroll system for its plantation workers under its 3R programme. — Picture by Choo Choy May
FGV is pioneering the implementation of an e-wallet cashless payroll system for its plantation workers under its 3R programme. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — FGV Holdings Berhad (FGV) is pioneering the implementation of an electronic wallet (e-wallet) cashless payroll system for its plantation workers under its recruitment, retention and repatriation (3R) programme.

FGV’s Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Haris Fadzilah Hassan said that the e-wallet system commenced in February in Gua Musang, Kelantan, involving 1,500 registered users in 11 of its estates.

“Through this system, FGV is able to save RM1 million annually in terms of payroll handling costs.

“By first quarter 2021, FGV aims to implement this system for its entire plantation sector including estates in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said in a statement published on the company’s website.

“In today’s digital era, we are continuously pursuing valuable approaches in refining our operations through emerging technologies. As the backbone of our operations, we strive to enhance our workers’ benefits in line with international regulations on labour practices.

“The 3R programme demonstrates our commitment to, among others, responsible recruitment of foreign workers, strengthening of grievance mechanisms, improving monitoring systems and remediation and enhancing stakeholder engagement,” he explained.

He said the Merchantrade Money mobile application under Merchantrade Asia Sdn Bhd allows FGV plantation workers to have a prepaid Visa card and an individual e-wallet account, which can be accessed easily via their mobile phones.

“This enables workers to conduct cashless transactions, perform remittance to their family members in their country of origin, purchase mobile prepaid and withdraw cash at any auto teller machines (ATM) and registered merchants.

“Workers can also purchase groceries at designated FGV mini marts as well as selected local marts, which are appointed as FGV merchants in this cashless programme,” he added.

Haris Fadzilah believes that the e-wallet system will bring convenience to the everyday lives and day-to-day transactions of workers.

“It is also in line with the nation’s move towards being a cashless society,” he said.

He also pointed out that FGV provides e-wallet registration assistance for its plantation workers, and added more functions will be developed in phases, including e-attendance, e-grievance and e-learning.

“While continuous measures are being put in place to ensure fair labour practices, FGV is also doubling its efforts in hiring more locals for its plantation workforce by offering training and attractive packages.

“We hope to attract more local workers to work with us in line with our aim to reduce 10 per cent from the total of 32,000 foreign workers employed with FGV,” he added.

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