KUALA LUMPUR: Banks will impose a cheque processing fee of 50 sen on the issuer of the cheque with effect from April 1, 2014 as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) sets a new pricing strategy to promote greater efficiency.
The central bank said on Wednesday this fee would be in addition to the existing stamp duty of 15 sen per cheque leaf.
"During the one-year period, BNM will work closely with the financial industry to further improve the payment infrastructure to ensure payment services are easily accessible, secure and convenient," it said.
"To reduce the cost and inefficiencies associated with the use of cheques, the charge for cheques will be progressively increased to reflect its production cost, which is currently at RM3," it added.
The new pricing strategy for payment services was to address the current price distortion between electronic payments and paper-based payment instruments. BNM said the fee for electronic payment methods would be reduced to incentivise businesses and consumers to adopt the more cost effective electronic payment methods while charges would be levied on cheques to reflect its higher cost.
Effective May 2, 2013, the fee for Interbank GIRO or IBG transactions done online via internet banking and mobile banking, would be at 10 sen.
"The low online IBG fee is aimed at providing the incentive for users to switch from other more costly payment methods to lower cost alternatives," it said.
BNM said online payment would provide significant benefits to individuals and businesses.
It pointed out individuals would enjoy the convenience of transacting anytime anywhere, avoiding the queues at bank counters while businesses can lower the costs of doing business through the reduction or redeployment of resources used for handling cash and cheques.
With more payments done electronically, BNM said there would also be cost savings from manual processes including postage.
In addition to cheques and IBG, adjustments in pricing for the other payment channels and methods, including automatic teller machines (ATM) will be phased in progressively to steer consumers to adopt the more cost effective electronic payment methods.
By 2020, pricing of all payment services would be based on the cost of providing the service.
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