“Lower-income group will not be affected by the DuitNow QR charges,” assures Anwar

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that the transaction fee imposed on vendors through the DuitNow QR application starting on Nov 1 will have no effect on the low-income group.

According to Anwar, he had a discussion with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour about the matter and according to Abdul Rasheed’s explanation given, the payment will not be imposed on the low-income group.

“The decision to lift the waiver on the merchant discount rate (MDR) for vendors was made by BNM,” Anwar was quoted by FMT today (Sept 29) at the KL Jazz and Art Centre.

“Right now, what’s important is that the low-income groups are not burdened by the lifting of the waiver and BNM will explain its decision in due course.”

On Wednesday (Sept 27), Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet), the operator of DuitNow QR clarified that debit and credit card payments were currently subject to a merchant discount rate (MDR), while MDR for QR payments are exempted.

However, the subsequent announcement by PayNet over the withdrawal of the MDR waiver for DuitNow QR payments from Nov 1 onwards invited backlash from various quarters.

Previously, the MDR was waived as an incentive to encourage use during the QR payment introduction period in 2019.

PayNet said this waiver was extended due to the COVID-19 epidemic. It is neither a new fee nor an additional charge.

Addressing concerns that MDR costs will be passed on to consumers, PayNet explained that purchases using credit and debit cards were already subject to MDR.

At least three banks have opted to extend the waiver, with Public Bank and Maybank opting to postpone the lifting of the waiver “until further notice”, and CIMB Bank maintaining the waiver until Dec 31. – Sept 29, 2023


Main pic credit: Kosmo Digital

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