As the country is approaching four weeks of the movement control order (MCO), Malaysians are – or at least, should be – getting used to the new norm of severely restricted travels, while purchases of groceries and essentials can be done online. Customers can make said purchases from established retailers with a considerable online presence, but what about the smaller, traditional hawkers and grocers?

Enter the Sama-Sama Lokal initiative by Maybank, which aims to bolster the businesses of these smaller outfits which are most vulnerable to a downturn in income as a result of severely reduced footfall. Customers can choose from a range of participating food and beverage outlets, with delivery charges covered by Maybank for distances of up to 10 km, from selected outlets without their own delivery services.

This is essentially a listing service provided by Maybank, who does not own or resell the vendors’ products, nor does the financial services provider control the services of the delivery service providers. At present, Lalamove is the appointed delivery service partner, with more service providers to come on board pending negotiations, according to Maybank.

To purchase, customers may contact the hawker on the phone number provided, and state their name along with the desired order, as well as the time of delivery or pick-up, and address if the delivery option is available and chosen. For vendors with a landline number listing instead of a mobile number, orders are to be made over phone call.

Payment will be made via instant bank transfer or Maybank QRPay depending on the vendor’s preference, and in the case of self-collection, payments can be made via MAE within the Maybank2u mobile app, cash, bank transfer or other preferred payment method agreed upon with the vendor.

For deliveries which exceed the 10 km coverage, the difference in cost is to be borne by the customer at a rate of RM1 per km, to be paid to the delivery service provider in cash upon delivery. Of course, current precautions for hygiene – such as face masks – and social distancing apply when collecting in person.

As the primary aim of this is to help vendors that otherwise have no online presence, there is currently no customer service support for transactions in the vein of GrabFood and Foodpanda, and any dispute or query will be between the customer and the vendor or delivery provider.

Sama-Sama Lokal has been active from April 9, says Maybank, and will continue until further notice. Future plans have yet to be confirmed as the setup has only been in operation for a week, the bank said, adding that the service will hopefully continue beyond the movement control order once the right partners and digital solutions are in place.