BY TANIA LAM & NUR HAZIRAH SHUKUR
KUCHING: The collaboration between Sarawak Pay and UnionPay has been lauded by many as a remarkable achievement by the state government towards gaining international recognition for Sarawak as well as broadening its horizons.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg launched the UnionPay Virtual Card on Sarawak Pay on Thursday. With the rollout of this feature, Sarawak Pay can be used for payments overseas.
He described this partnership as a historic milestone for both parties, adding that it would also strengthen Sarawak’s digital economy agenda.
In addition, he said it was timely to rename Sarawak Pay as SPay Global to reinforce its branding and presence on the global stage.
Officially launched by the state government in 2017, the Sarawak Pay e-wallet application has taken huge strides in a short period, providing convenience and ease-of-use to customers and merchants.
New Sarawak Tribune spoke with several members of the public, including entrepreneurs, to hear their views on the collaboration between Sarawak Pay and UnionPay.
Lorna Phang, 28, university student
I think Sarawak Pay going global is a huge stepping stone to even better things. If we can do it from a small scale and leap onto the international platform so quickly, I believe Sarawak can become a digital economy hub. E-wallets are a way to move forward. It is a lot more secure and easier to use as everyone has their phone with them all the time now.
Ghaniy Kiew, 30, entrepreneur
SPay Global’s vision is far ahead of its competition, as other e-wallet payment features do not support international payment. This has raised its branding awareness. Furthermore, UnionPay is well-known throughout Asia. This will encourage more transactions, especially when our doors are open to international tourists, whereby local transactions will increase exponentially with more exposure to UnionPay.
Tan Shao Chien, 28, chemist
This is a good direction for Sarawak Pay that will contribute to the state’s development. This will also help Sarawak to be recognised internationally. I would be happy to use it if it is available in West Malaysia and other countries.
Nur Hidayah Abusamah, 28, entrepreneur
Sarawak Pay going global is an achievement for our state and country as we are upgrading our e-wallet to another level. In terms of security, cashless shopping is certainly safer than carrying around large amounts of cash. SPay Global will undoubtedly benefit the state and country’s economic and business sectors and serve the public well.
Emily Rachel, 26, planning executive
I feel that this collaboration is very important to strengthen our economy and growing local businesses on a global scale. This is surely an added advantage to encourage the use of e-wallets, as it is more convenient to make payments internationally through an app.”
Muhammad Nazim Adil Rapaee
The SPay Global app is very good to use during this Covid-19 pandemic as it can help to reduce the risk of infection. I feel that this application can indeed be further developed and it has good potential at the international level. The UnionPay and Sarawak Pay collaboration is a good initiative by the Sarawak government in empowering the digital world.
Nurul Hidayah Zamil
The SPay Global application helps in terms of safety because there is no need to carry around lots of cash. Aside from that, it makes it easier and faster to make payments. By creating a UnionPay Virtual Card facility through Sarawak Pay, it will make it easier for us to travel without having to exchange currency and so on.
The launch of the UnionPay Virtual Card through Sarawak Pay proves that the Sarawak government is serious about bringing the state towards a digital direction. SPay Global on the global level will facilitate buying and selling when we are travelling overseas. It will also enhance security because we don’t have to carry cash. I hope this will be expanded to all countries in the world.
Nor Hidayu Gani
SPay Global being at the international level will further facilitate purchases and payments. However, the security of online transactions needs to be further tightened. All information needs to be more private to prevent fraudulent activities or scams, which are becoming more prevalent.