The Federation of Malaysian Consumers’ Association (FOMCA) has called for a review of inter-bank withdrawal fees on local ATM machines, after it was revealed that these fees contributed to substantial profits for Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd, better known as PayNet.
PayNet fully owns the Malaysian Electronic Payments System (MEPS), an inter-bank network service provider. MEPS allows Malaysians to conduct inter-bank banking transactions (including cash withdrawal) at any ATM machine under the MEPS network. Currently, anyone using the MEPS network for interbank transactions will have to pay RM1 for each domestic bank transaction and RM4 for each foreign bank transaction.
These fees are reported to make a considerable portion of PayNet’s profits in 2018, where it recorded RM170.1 million in profit that year – nearly 50% of the company’s 2018 revenue (RM348.8 million).
PayNet is partially owned by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) with a 37% stake, and a consortium of 11 banks owns the remaining 63% stake, with each bank holding 5.73% each.
As such, FOMCA has called for a review to re-evaluate the MEPS fee. “We opine that with the technological advances currently, the RM1 charge for inter-bank withdrawals should be reviewed. The review is also necessary due to the high cost of living,” said FOMCA president, Datuk Paul Selvaraj.
Industry observers and consumers also questioned the need for the MEPS service charge when similar inter-bank online transactions can be done for free.
(Source: Focus Malaysia)