KUALA LUMPUR: Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook plans to get public transport to take the lead in making Malaysia a cashless society by next year.
He said today his ministry will get the sector to leverage on new technological advancements to transform its ticketing and fare collection systems.
But for him, cashless payment will not be limited to transport services.
“We also want them to enjoy the same convenience when buying food or drinks at the train or bus station,“ he said at the launch of the “Go Cashless on Public Transport” campaign organised by Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd at the ERL station at Kuala Lumpur Sentral.
Loke noted that there has been a sharp increase in the number of electronic payment transactions in Malaysia over the past two years, thanks to the development of mobile technology that has led to the rise of digital and mobile wallets.
However, he said, more collective efforts are needed to promote seamless passenger movement and to provide first and last-mile connectivity.
“It is quite a long way to go to achieve our target of raising rail-based ridership from the current 25% to 40% by 2030,“ he said.
“As you know, Malaysians are very cost-conscious. When the government introduced the ‘MY100’ monthly passes last year, the number of subscribers rose sharply to more than 90,000 monthly,“ he said.
Loke said that when passengers opt to go cashless, the data is recorded and used to unlock information on consumers’ spending patterns.
“Once the data is interpreted, it can lead to the introduction of more dynamic pricing,“ he said.
He said the use of technological innovation to improve all aspects of operations, including the ticketing system, can help to accelerate the growth of cashless payments.
Loke also pointed out that raising the capability of cashless payments can also help to curb corrupt practices because such transactions will be recorded.