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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Amanah Youth joins call to stop DuitNow transaction fees

Amanah Youth has joined the call for Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet) to revoke the new transaction fees for traders receiving payments through the DuitNow QR application.

In a statement today, Amanah Youth vice-president Ammar Atan questioned the rationale behind implementing the fees, where 0.25 percent would be charged on the transaction amount for debit card payments.

“By transitioning to DuitNow QR, banks in Malaysia have been able to save cash handling costs, including the physical cash storage process and reliance on ATMs (automated teller machines).

“Cash damage can also be reduced, further reducing costs borne by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

“Are banks, that profit in billions of ringgit, not able to absorb this 0.25 percent cost?” Ammar asked.

On Sept 27, MCA president Wee Ka Siong shared similar concerns regarding the new fee, which is said to start on Nov 1 across all banks, claiming that it discriminates against small traders.

Following this, Wee also said that PayNet and banks should be pressured to make the waiver for merchant discount rate (MDR) fees charged through DuitNow QR transactions to be made permanent.

In response to these concerns, BNM clarified that banks and non-bank financial service providers will waive transaction fees for micro and small businesses accepting these payments.

BNM also explained that the transaction fee is intended to cover costs and investments needed by the industry to upkeep their payment systems, including cybersecurity and fraud prevention controls, to maintain the high service and security standards for payment services.

‘Matter of principle’

Meanwhile, Ammar argued that the transaction fees should be waived for all traders regardless of business size, not just micro and small businesses.

He highlighted that many traders have not yet embraced digital transactions, claiming that PayNet’s choice to introduce the fees would impede the progress of businesses transitioning to digital banking.

Ammar acknowledged that while the transaction rate may be a small percentage for businesses, he stated that the issue at hand was a matter of “principle”.

“If banks enjoy the savings stated above, what is wrong with waiving those costs?

“If there are banks insisting on imposing this transaction fee, Amanah Youth urges them to openly explain the costs they incur and why this transaction fee is necessary.

“If the reasons provided are irrelevant, then such banks should be boycotted for prioritising their profits. We hope BNM and local banks reconsider their decisions,” he concluded. - Mkini

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