Public transport services in Malaysia will soon offer more payment options for commuters, Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced earlier this week. Until now, commuters were only able to use tokens or Touch ‘n Go cards to make digital payments for their public transportation systems, including their commuter rail system, (Komuter), Light Rapid Transit (LRT), Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), and buses. Soon, commuters will be able to also use a credit or debit card to pay for public transport services.
With Malaysia’s Ministry of Transportation at the helms of the new directive for more inclusive and cashless payment options, Touch ‘n Go will no longer be a monopoly, or the only cashless payment option for public transportation. This new initiative doesn’t mean that Touch ‘n Go will cease to exist. On the contrary, it will be another option, in line with the country’s efforts to offer more cashless and convenient payment methods.
Malaysia’s Move Towards a Cashless Society
Like so many countries worldwide, Malaysia has joined the race towards a cashless society. With Sweden being the only country close to reaching the cashless goal, Malaysia has taken strategic steps towards this objective.
Although the pandemic has certainly accelerated efforts towards digital payments, the Southeast Asian country is still lagging behind. Many in rural areas still have little to no knowledge of digital banking.
Going cashless has proven to have a host of advantages such as security, convenience, and even during a pandemic, it’s become a more –sanitary option. But what’s sometimes overlooked is the potential loss of privacy. Here in the U.S., digital currency allows the government to track consumer behavior, something that most consumers would rather not share without permission. For now, more needs to be explored on the implications of a truly cashless society. A call on consumer protection is certainly a good place to start.