Sarawak Pay logs transactions worth more than RM588 mln in just three years

Abang Johari (centre) poses for a photo-op with staff at the Sarawak Pay booth at the Sibu Central Market today (Sept 16, 2020). Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

By Karen Bong

SIBU, Sept 16: Since its launch in 2017, Sarawak Pay has recorded 13.8 million transactions worth more than RM588 million.

Highlighting this, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg disclosed that there were 64,254 businesses and nearly half a million users registered with Sarawak’s very own cashless and contactless payment system today.

“In only three years since Sarawak Pay was established, we have reached over half a billion in value of transactions.

“This indicates that many people are using and making their purchases using Sarawak Pay. After that, just shake (the phone) to get some cash rebate,” he said during the launch of cashless Sibu Central Market via Sarawak Pay and free WiFi service at the market’s premises here today.

Abang Johari noted the initial lukewarm response towards cashless and contactless payment but that mentality among the public has since changed after Covid-19 appeared.

“People were uncomfortable at first but when Covid-19 restricted people’s movement and we were made to stay at home, people went online to buy fish using Sarawak Pay.

“The Kuching Fishermen Association in Kampung Buntal was selling their fish online through (social media) apps and the buyers also bought through apps,” he noted, explaining how digital technology has helped communities thrive in tough times.

Mobile wallets, he emphasised, have presented people or users with greater flexibility and convenience in payment choices and removed the hassle of carrying physical cash or even queuing up for ATM withdrawals or making payments for a long list of services.

“This is the world today, we don’t need to carry a lot of cash to go around and all we need is to top up our Sarawak Pay account on our phone to make payment.

“Even the state government channeled the financial assistance under Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) through Sarawak Pay. It was well received as it is easier and more efficient,” he added.

Abang Johari puts his signature on a screen to symbolically launch the cashless Sibu Central Market and free WiFi service. Also seen are (from left) Zaidi, Ting, Jaul and Dr Annuar. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)
Abang Johari delivering his speech during the launching of cashless Sibu Central Market via Sarawak Pay and free WiFi service at the market premises. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

Congratulating Sibu Central Market for the overwhelming reception towards Sarawak Pay and noting that now the market is installed with free WiFi, Abang Johari said these will present all the convenience for people to carry out their daily activities on the premises.

He thus encouraged more people to sign up with Sarawak Pay to enjoy the ease of seamless transactions.

“We wish all a Selamat Hari Malaysia where Sibu is the host city this year. Here’s hoping we will all continue to progress and prosper,” he concluded.

Abang Johari uses his smartphone to make a payment via Sarawak Pay at a stall during a quick lunch break at the Sibu Central Market. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

Meanwhile, Sibu Central Market is the first market in Sarawak to be digitally-enabled and equipped with e-wallet services. This effort was initiated by Sibu Municipal Council (SMC), and supported by Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA).

More than 800 hawkers and petty traders at the market have been registered as Sarawak Pay merchants.

It is estimated that there will be more than 600,000 micro payment transactions via Sarawak Pay on a daily basis in Sibu Central Market within the next six months. — DayakDaily