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MEPS' ambitious plan targets 1,580 more non-bank ATMs


Here we go: Muhammad (left) and Zulkanain at the launch.

Here we go: Muhammad (left) and Zulkanain at the launch.

KUALA LUMPUR: With the launch of Malaysia’s first non-bank ATM, Malaysian Electronic Payment System Sdn Bhd (MEPS) is targeting to roll out 1,580 more throughout the country over the next five years.

MEPS had set aside RM60mil for this purpose, group managing director Zulkanain Kassim told reporters at the launch yesterday.

Zulkanain said that since the group was founded in 2006, its role had evolved from mere ATM switch infrastructure to payment services provider.

MEPS has to date deployed 134 ATMs and aims to raise this to 200 by the end of the year.

It also plans to deploy 360 ATMs across Malaysia by the third quarter of 2014.

With the tagline “ATM for All”, MEPS offers a variety of services ranging from cash withdrawals and balance enquiries at 15 participating local and foreign banks, on top of cross-border cash withdrawals and e-payment services.

The firm will also introduce the dynamic currency conversion for foreign cardholders by the third quarter of next year.

“This initiative is being carried out in support of the Government’s Economic Transformation Programme and Bank Negara’s aspiration of a cashless society,” Zulkanain said.

The event was officiated by Bank Negara deputy governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim.

In his speech, Muhammad Ibrahim said: “The launching of MEPS’ ATMs marks an important milestone as this will be the first time that MEPS, a non-bank entity owned by the banking industry, is deploying ATMs, instead of by individual banks.

“This initiative is indeed a welcome move as it facilitates the pooling of resources by the banking industry for a common objective of developing and deploying industry-wide banking infrastructure. It promotes efficiency and cost effectiveness.”

Widening the ATM network through shared resources would also benefit the public by having more convenient points of access to banking products and serviceshe said, adding that banks should continue to share infrastructure cost and compete on offering quality products and services.

In terms of cash, he said that over the past three years an average of 547 million cash withdrawals at ATMs were made, totalling RM276bil per annum.

“This represents 93% of the total financial transactions conducted at the ATMs, while only 7% of the ATM transactions were for non-cash withdrawal.

“These included funds transfer, bill payment, card and loan repayment, purchase of share application and reload of mobile prepaid applications, which were valued at RM37bil on average per year,” Muhammad said.

“The usage of ATM for e-payment purposes is under-utilised and the industry should do more to improve this situation.”

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