28th September 2023 - 3 min read
Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet) has released a statement to clarify the recent furore over the implementation of a 0.25% fee for DuitNow QR payments. In addition, the company also attempted to address concerns of potential price hikes by merchants after the fee is implemented.
Several media outlets earlier this week reported that a few banks have begun issuing notices to business account holders of the implementation of a 0.25% transaction fee for DuitNow QR payments from 1 November 2023. This was followed by other reports claiming that transactions above RM5,000 will also incur a 50 sen fee.
PayNet claims that the reports carry various inaccuracies, and clarified that both the DuitNow QR merchant fee have always been part of the fee structure, and that the 50 sen fee is only for peer-to-peer fund transfers and not for payments.
The company explained that the 0.25% fee is the merchant discount rate (MDR), a fee that is also charged to merchants for debit and credit cards (at varying rates). This fee is shared between PayNet, the relevant banks, and third-party acquirers, which is traditionally used to cover network maintenance and expenses incurred.
However, DuitNow QR MDR was waived during the early stages of its launch to encourage users to use the service, before PayNet extended the waiver during the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the MDR was supposed to be implemented on 1 January but was further postponed.
The statement further added that banks and third-party acquirers may continue to defer the MDR or absorb them for smaller businesses, and advised merchants to check with their bank or acquirer to confirm this matter. On PayNet’s part, it will set up a reserve fund with the MDR collected by PayNet to incentivise acquirers not to charge smaller businesses this fee.
Lastly, PayNet also clarified that prices of goods are unlikely to increase with the implementation of MDR for DuitNow QR, mainly because purchases using credit and debit cards are already subject to MDR. Since prices of goods are the same regardless of payment method, consumers should not see any changes to prices of goods and services arising from this matter.
DuitNow QR is part of the DuitNow ecosystem developed by PayNet in 2019, with the goal of simplifying the process of moving funds from one account to another (via payment or funds transfer). DuitNow QR was designed to be a universal QR code that can be used by various e-wallet operators in Malaysia to make payments or perform peer-to-peer transfers.
Meanwhile, other DuitNow products include DuitNow Transfer which eases the process of instant funds transfer using easy-to-remember numbers like IC numbers and phone numbers, and DuitNow Request which allows users to request payments via online banking or e-wallet accounts.
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