The pandemic highlighted many gaps in our daily going-abouts, from simple chores of buying grocery to paying utility bills all become mammoth tasks with lockdowns and a deadly virus looming outdoor. This scenario wasn’t a post apocalyptic Hollywood movie but was real for most part of 2020 faced by nearly 140 countries in the planet.
All of a sudden invention and solutions that were developed to ease certain activities become saving grace for mankind, take eWallets for example. Going cashless was born out of the necessity to reduce the need for printing paper money (which costs taxpayers more) and removing the perils of transaction that comes along with it. While the uptake was slow in the beginning when society started seeing the value of the application, downloads increased with now two major players holding a combined user pool of 20 million users. This was further accelerated when the pandemic hit where nearly most Malaysians started realising the benefits of eWallets, including the Government, retailers and general businesses.
Local player, Boost a project initiated by regional telecommunication giant Axiata who was also incidentally one of the pioneers in the cashless movement, saw massive hike in its user base. Having stayed the course throughout the early days, the eWallet brand is now highly rated for its innovative offerings and appealing promotions which keeps its customers constantly using the app. Now to reach more users who can enjoy the benefits populating the ecosystem, Boost will be joining the PayNet Real Time Retail Payment Platform (RPP) and will adopt DuitNow QR.
This would mean that users on both application can use the single DuitNowQR code to operate wherever a scan the QR code notice is seen be it for DuitNow or Boost. Nationally the DuitNow QR is already a standardised and unified QR code which offers cashless, contactless and for shopping for all e-wallet users including those not on the Boost platform. With this, Boost merchants will only need one QR code to accept cashless and contactless payments from users of any participating e-wallets in the PayNet ecosystem this will expose merchants to a bigger customer base.
Aspirations are in progress towards a single QR cashless ecosystem, Mohd Khairil Abdullah, CEO of Boost has been mooting for such consolidation, where the consumer need not download multiple wallets to conduct a transaction. “We believe that a standardized and unified QR code as a shared payment infrastructure is a defining piece in building a robust ‘One Nation, One QR’ cashless ecosystem. This will greatly facilitate interoperability between digital payment providers and increase accessibility for Malaysians.”
For Paynet, having Boost onboard the DuitNow ecosystem will further strengthen their contribution in enabling businesses, especially micro-enterprises and SMEs to accept digital payments and to weather the impact of COVID-19. With Boost’s strong user and merchant base that extends to Sabah and Sarawak the national DuitNow ecosystem is set to drive higher ePayments adoption and wider financial inclusion in the country.