Malaysia Heading Towards Next Wave Of E-Payment

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KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia is on the brink of the next wave of e-payment transformation, driven by the high penetration of mobile phones.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Payment Systems Policy Department Director, Tan Nyat Chuan, said mobile payment had the potential to complement debit cards in efforts to displace cash.

“E-payment is a cost-effective method as it facilitates seamless on-boarding digital payments for about 12 million people,” he said in a press conference in conjunction with the one-day Payment System Forum and Exhibition 2017 here, today.

Currently, there are 42.8 million mobile phones subscriptions, out of which 70 per cent are smartphones, for the 32.1 million population in Malaysia.

Tan also said that BNM would undertake a study jointly with the World Bank next year to provide more visibility on how costly cash is as an instrument.

“At the moment, cheques usage roughly costs about RM6.80 for businesses today,” he said.

When asked on cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin as an instrument, Tan said consumers and businesses should be aware of the risks involved in dealing with Bitcoin as there was no protection by the central bank.

“It is a challenge around the world for regulators to have a form of complete regulations because it has not been issued by any organisation in particular.

“Unlike e-money issuers and banking services, we provide oversight, we set prudential safeguards and consumers protection measures. Bitcoin doesn’t have the assurance from us,” he said.

Earlier, BNM Governor, Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim announced that effective July 1, 2018, the Instant Transfer fee of 50 sen will be waived for transactions of up to RM5,000.

This is in line with the central bank’s effort to embrace the digital economy. – BERNAMA