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Pilot project offers incentives for businesses to go cashless

By The Scoop

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — More businesses are expected to offer cashless payments over the next six months, including parking lots, laundromats and convenience stores.

The three types of facilities will be given training and incentives under the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry’s (AITI) cashless society pilot programme.

AITI has teamed up with local startup Beep Digital Solutions to carry out the pilot scheme after both parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Friday.

In a press statement, AITI said the programme would allow the targeted businesses to adopt and deploy a cashless payment system at their premises.

“It is hoped that with increased accessibility to cashless payments in the selected merchants through this programme, more consumers would be getting on board to [use the] various digital payments available at physical stores and in their e-commerce transactions,” it added.

The ICT regulator said the adoption of digital payments needs to be accelerated as the country pursues its Smart Nation agenda and embrace the digital economy.

“The goal is to create a safe and connected society beyond cash, across the nation,” AITI said, adding that cashless payments are steadily progressing in Brunei.

The majority (84 percent) of e-commerce users in Brunei preferred using debit or credit cards to make online purchases, according to AITI’s 2018 E-commerce Survey for Consumers in Brunei Darussalam.

AITI acting chief executive Hj Jailani Hj Buntar signed the MoU with Beep Digital Solutions director Hj Malai Faizulrizal Hj Malai Ali.

Beep Digital Solutions acquired the license to provide Alipay — a Chinese third-party digital payment platform — to businesses in Brunei last year.

About 50 Brunei-based businesses have signed up as Alipay merchants.