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Malaysia's cashless push to smart

Initiatives outlined include integrating Mastercard’s digital payments service to make everyday transactions faster and more secure

The agreement being signed at Smart City Expo in Barcelona
The agreement being signed at Smart City Expo in Barcelona

By embedding digital payments into a core infrastructure, data generated by the system can be harnessed

It will provide city authorities and urban planners with actionable data-driven insights into the retail industry

The Malaysian ‘cybercity’ of Cyberjaya, which is home to more than 1300 start-ups, SMEs and tech giants, has bolstered its offerings as a smart city by putting in place foundations for a cashless society.


Its developer, Cyberview Sdn Bhd, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and Mastercard at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.


It outlines a raft of initiatives that will be collaboratively rolled out by its signatories as Cyberjaya looks towards going cashless in line with the Malaysian government’s push to reduce cash transactions.


Some of the initiatives outlined include integrating Mastercard’s digital payments service Masterpass to make everyday transactions for consumers faster, simpler and more secure as well as providing city authorities and urban planners with actionable data-driven insights into the retail industry and to better inform their marketing campaigns for visitors.


These activities are set to fall in line with the government’s Economic Transformation Programme and Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) vision to transform Malaysia into a cashless society.


This MoU adds to a series of milestones achieved by Cyberjaya in its continued evolution as a smart city, including the deployment of a city-wide long range (LoRa) network that will strengthen its offerings as a Living Lab for the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as the establishment of its City Innovation Council (CIC). The latter is a collaborative platform comprising Cyberview, its partners and stakeholders aimed at providing endorsement, assistance and guidance to start-ups and SMEs seeking to test out prototypes and concepts that could be of value to the city.


Dato’ Faris Yahaya, managing director of Cyberview Sdn Bhd, said that it understands that payments are the heart of a city’s economic activity “forming the core of every economic flow including salaries, consumer spending, business procurement, and taxes.”


He added: “By embedding digital payments into our core infrastructure and harnessing the data that electronic payments generate, cities can deliver on their promise to create smarter, more welcoming spaces, and empower their citizens to lead greater, more rewarding lives.


“We will continue to collaboratively work with our numerous ecosystem partners, including MaGIC and Mastercard to enhance the liveability of the city and provide the people of Cyberjaya with everything they will need to improve their lives.”


Perry Ong, country manager for Malaysia and Brunei of Mastercard, explained that through the Economic Transformation Programme, an electronic payments agenda is embedded through a structural reform known as the Payment Card Reform framework where the payment industry is working together in efforts to broaden market access and to dampen cash transactions.


He said: “It is imperative that we recognise the great control, transparency and efficiency electronic payments offers to society. Therefore, Mastercard is pivotal in this collaboration by bringing its global expertise and innovation strengths to its member banks and merchant partners.”


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