JOHOR backbencher Chew Chong Sin has called on Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to step in and address Public Bank’s recent decision to impose charges on merchants for QR code payments.
The Mengkibol assemblyperson expressed concerns that Public Bank’s decision could hinder Malaysia’s digitalisation efforts and increase operational expenses for businesses.
Public Bank announced on Sept 14 that merchants using QR payments would face fees ranging from 0.25% to 0.5% of the transaction amount.
“Allowing Public Bank to implement these charges could encourage other commercial banks to follow suit and impose fees on merchants for QR code payments,” said Chew.
Drawing attention to China’s approach, Chew pointed out that the Chinese government had directed all commercial banks to either waive or reduce transaction and handling fees to support businesses.
“BNM should play a proactive role and lead commercial banks in assisting merchants by waiving or reducing bank transaction and handling fees, especially during difficult times when the national financial budget may not provide significant subsidies to small and medium-sized enterprises.
“This would help ease the burden of operating costs, especially in digital payments, rather than exacerbating them,” he said.
Chew revealed that he has formally communicated these concerns to BNM and shared copies of his message with Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the Prime Minister. – Sept 22, 2023
Main photo credit: Malaysiakini