Sabah continues to be more digital through its payment system. Source: Shutterstock

Sabah continues to be more digital through its payment system. Source: Shutterstock

Malaysia’s Sabah launches own digital wallet in a bid to drive tech adoption

MALAYSIA, through various government initiatives and programs, has managed to become more digital and aligned with global transformative efforts.

In fact, progressive efforts at the state level have resulted in encouraging feats that have enabled greater digital breakthroughs like the development of smart cities.

Sabah, in East Malaysian, recently made news when it announced the launching of its very own digital wallet or e-wallet called ‘Sabah Pay’.

Previously, its neighbor state, Sarawak accomplished something similar when it developed and deployed S-Pay, a state-owned payment facility that went international soon after.

Although no plans have been announced as to whether Sabah Pay will be launched as an international payment capability, the platform remains promising and convenient.

The centralized payment capability was developed by Sabah Credit Corporation (SCC) and can be used by locals as well as tourists.

SCC CEO George Taitim Tulas informed the media that 27 agencies and 28 businesses have decided to be on Sabah Pay – and the number will continue to increase. This is because the CEO targets to get five state entities onboard, each month, as they move forward.

That being said, the e-wallet will, without a doubt, be particularly fundamental in boosting the state’s government payment collections as the platform features bill payment capabilities as well as links to all public agencies’ portals.

According to Tulas, “We target that by year-end, 60 percent of the state departments and agencies’ collection can be done through the Sabah Pay’s Collection Module, with an aim of 100,000 users signing up by then.”

Additionally, the digital wallet will also contain news announcements by the state government and agencies as well as a segment that promotes the latest events taking place in Sabah.

Lastly, Sabah Pay will be offering marketing channels on the app for businesses to promote their products and services.

“This is just phase one, there will be more services introduced such as virtual account, e-Parking, e-Ticket (park entrance and transport) and smart loan,” added Tulas.

The SCC CEO further elaborated that tourists can utilize Sabah Pay to pay for admission fees when entering the state’s public parks and islands.

The move will reinvigorate local businesses as it creates new digital market opportunities and stimulates the economy. Ultimately, digital payment systems add value to the financial ecosystem as a whole.

Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal said, “Not only do we expect to attract investors and businesses by simplifying our procedures and payments via online using just our handphones, but the aim is to reduce the burden of the public in terms of costs from having to travel to make payments or go to the bank, for example.”

Developing a ‘homegrown’ digital payment capability will definitely highlight Sabah as a progressive and competitive state.

Hopefully, other states in Malaysia can follow suit as they realize how e-wallets can significantly augment government operations and add transparency to the payment system.