Corporate, Economy  |  MARCH 20, 2013 11:33AM

Malaysia to phase out cheques

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Bank Negara Malaysia said that it plans to instruct banks to phase out the use of cheques by passing on the full cost to consumers while lowering rates to encourage electronic payment systems (EPS).

Effective May 2, interbank GIRO (IBG) transactions performed online via internet banking or mobile banking will cost 10 sen, BNM said. Currently, Malaysia’s banks mostly charge RM1-2 for this transaction.

From April 2014, banks will slap on a 50 sen charge on top of a 15 sen stamp duty for each cheque issued by the consumer. The rate will be gradually hiked until the full cost of cheque payment, which is now said to be RM3 per cheque, will be borned by the consumer.

“Because it will take time to move from paper to electronic, we are giving everyone a year to learn,” said BNM governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz in a press conference.

In addition, other payment methods including automatic teller machines (ATM) will be phased in progressively to steer consumers to the more cost effective EPS.

BNM said that 1.6 billion financial transactions are now carried out using electronic means, double the amount from 2006.The target is to quadruple EPS per capita to 200 in 2020 from 56 in 2012. Malaysia hopes to half the cheques cleared to 100 million over the same period, from current 204 million cheques.

Studies show that Malaysia could save 1 percent of its GDP if payment systems migrate from paper to electronic-based, BNM said.

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