Malaysia Prepares For Cashless Society
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Dec 13, 2017

Malaysia’s central bank has taken further steps to enhance its e-payment platform, paving the way towards a cashless society, reports say. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Muhammad Ibrahim said that, effective July 1 next year, the instant transfer fee of 50 sen (12 US cent) will be waived for up to 5,000 ringgit ($1,225) per transaction made by individuals and small and medium enterprises.

However, the cheque fee will be increased from 50 sen to one ringgit (25 US cent), beginning January 2, 2021, to reflect the higher processing cost.

“The soaring digital economy will need an e-payment method which is a critical component that could increase productivity and be more cost efficient,” he said at the Payment System Forum and Exhibition here today.

BNM embarked on the ten-year e-payment roadmap in 2011 and to date, the total cheque volume has declined 42 per cent from 205 million in 2011 to only 120 million this year.

Electronic fund transfers, on the other hand, have increased from 66 million transactions in 2011 to an estimated 329 million for 2017.

“At the current rate of decline, we can achieve our target of reducing cheque usage to 100 million by 2019, and one year ahead of schedule,” Muhammad said.

Since 2009, the industry has invested 893 million ringgit ($219 million) to enhance the e-payment infrastructure and will invest a further 346 million ringgit ($85 million) to expand the Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal network and 40 million ringgit ($9.8 million) to develop the real-time retail payment platform.

Muhammad also said that the payment technology had become more advanced, scalable and low cost, which benefits merchants directly, as their operations cost was lowered by the using Quick Response (QR Code).

“Most Malaysians are likely to carry both a debit card and mobile phones, and as of now, there are 45.4 million debit cards and 42.8 million mobile phone subscriptions. We need to take advantage of and optimise this medium,” he added.

To encourage the use of the QR code payment, BNM has issued an Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework (ICTF).

“For the first time in our history, customers of banks and non-banks will soon be able to transfer funds across the network by just referring to the mobile phone number, identification number or QR code,” he said.

The ICTF will also enhance customer protection and confidence in the use of the credit transfer service.

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

Company Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Contact Imran Saddique