Local firms to fully embrace e-payment

Business Times, February 13, 2014

THE Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) is bullish on the migration by Malaysian enterprises towards electronic payment (e-payment).

ABM executive director Chuah Mei Lin said most of the larger enterprises have adopted e-transactions and only the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have yet to fully embrace the e-payment concept.

Nevertheless, numerous SMEs are beginning to throw their support for the e-payment migration, thanks to the promotions conducted by the association throughout the country, she said.

"ABM and our member banks are in full support of the national agenda for the migration to e-payment," Chuah said at a media briefing, here, yesterday.

"A series of nationwide road shows and open days to promote e-payments, in particular Interbank GIRO (IBG), has been held since October last year and will continue until March this year.

"These road shows have been jointly organised by Bank Negara Malaysia, the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia and ABM," she added.

Bank Negara plans to boost e-transactions to 200 for each Malaysian by 2020. In 2012, each Malaysian only made an average 56 e-payments.

Chuah said the central bank plans to trim the number of cheques processed each year to 100 million by 2020, from 204 million in 2012.

In March last year, Bank Negara announced a measure to boost the utilisation of e-payment, while keeping the charge for IBG transactions performed through Internet and mobile banking at a maximum of 10 sen.

Effective April 1 this year, commercial banks will charge a cheque processing fee of 50 sen on the issuer or drawer of a cheque.

The fee will be imposed on each cheque and is in addition to the existing stamp duty of 15 sen per cheque leaf.

"A fee will be charged whenever a cheque is received by a bank for processing and whether for encashment over the counter or for depositing into an account.

"However, the applicant of a banker's cheque, bank draft and cashier's order (a cheque issued by a bank) will have to pay the cheque processing fee at the time of application.

"In such cases, the cheque processing fee will be in addition to the stamp duty and commission collected by the bank," she said.

In collaboration with member banks, ABM has introduced measures to make reconciliation of IBG fund transfers more convenient for recipients of the funds.