People Are Loving The Multiple Cashless Payments Offered By This Makcik Nasi Lemak

They are also calling for more such stores to usher in a cashless society.

Cover image via @_FarahFauzi (Twitter)

Recently, Farah, a teacher at an international school in Subang, shared a photo that she had taken while buying kuih ketayap from a stall in Putra Heights. She wanted to show how sophisticated the stall was.

At the time, the teacher, who has been conducting online classes since the first movement control order (MCO) was imposed in March, did not expect for the photo to go viral, she told this SAYS writer.

According to her, she took the photo on the morning of 28 October when she went out to get breakfast.

"It was just a random act, [I] didn't even expect for it to blow up like this," Farah told me, referring to her tweet that has since gone viral with almost 10,000 retweets at the time of this writing.

What Farah wanted to highlight in the photo was the convenience to pay through a range of cashless options that were on offer at the stall

According to her, she "almost always" do not have enough cash with her.

"And the reason I went to her stall that morning was the fact that I know they have QR payments and I did not have even RM2 to buy that kuih ketayap," she said, adding that she ended up buying nasi lemak, bihun goreng, karipap pusing kentang, koci, and seri muka because "how convenient the whole QR pay thing is".

Farah said that it can be quite a hassle for her to go to the ATM to withdraw money.

While speaking to us, the international school teacher also acknowledged the privilege in terms of access to technology that comes with living in Selangor, Malaysia's most developed state

The access to technology is an important factor to highlight here with regards to how Farah's viral tweet has prompted thousands of Malaysians to show their willingness towards a cashless society.

"I've read somewhere that in China almost (if not all) all roadside stall provides QR code for customers to pay, hopefully, more and more Malaysian sellers do this," said one Twitter user.

While another quote-tweeted Farah's tweet to show their support for "#CashlessSociety".

There are hundreds of others who are asking for more small business owners to offer cashless payment options because while they want to support local vendors, most of the time they do not carry cash.

However, the call for a cashless system also overlooks a somewhat political factor that it excludes those — especially the poor and undocumented immigrants — who solely rely on cash.

More often than not, this section of the populous does not have a bank account, access to technology in terms of having a mobile, or are simply not familiar with the latest payment options.

Still, conversations about going cashless are important given the times

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered not just the way people interact with each other but also how they handle cash. Most now prefer not to touch any hard surface that has passed through multiple hands.

"Monthly contactless transactions have quadrupled compared to three years ago, and it is likely to continue growing post-COVID-19 and remain as a preferred mode of payment in the near future," according to Ng Kong Boon, who is the Visa country manager for Malaysia.

In fact, a global survey by Standard Chartered recently found that over 70% of Malaysians are now more comfortable with making online purchases or having cashless payment options.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 30% preferred online transactions.

"But this has shifted significantly with 51% now preferring online payments to the in-person card or cash payments. This increase in preference for online payments is true across a range of purchases, from groceries and travel to digital devices," the survey said.

The British multinational banking and financial services company concluded that 79% of people in Malaysia now expect the country to go fully cashless, with a majority expecting this to happen by 2030.

Last year, the story of a beggar in China went viral for a similar reason:

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