KUALA LUMPUR: Fewer cheques have been issued in 2017 as Bank Negara Malaysia pushes ahead with its objective to help create a cashless society and encouraging mobile payments.
In its annual report for 2017 released on Wednesday it said the number of e-payment transactions per capita has more than doubled to 111 (2011: 49).
The volume of cheques has declined by 41.9% to 119 million or four cheques per capita (2011: 204.9 million or seven cheques per capita).
The number of point-of-sale terminals has expanded rapidly and the volume of debit card transactions increased by more than six times to 162.3 million transactions or 5.1 transactions per capita (2011: 25.1 million transactions or 0.9 transactions per capita).
The central bank pointed out that a major milestone in 2017 was the smooth transition from signature to the more secure PIN-based payment cards on July 1, 2017, which was achieved without disruptions to payment transactions.
As part of the bank’s drive towards a cashless society, measures have been actively implemented to correct price distortions, enable a greater degree of competition, and establish market incentive structures to promote innovation and investments in payments infrastructure.
These have been supported by extensive public awareness initiatives to encourage and accelerate the migration to e-payment. The financial system continued to make good progress in 2017.
In 2018, the bank will focus on initiatives to promote mobile payments to complement debit cards in displacing cash.
An area of primary focus will be the operationalisation of the Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework (ICTF).
By ensuring fair and open access to a shared payment infrastructure by banks and non-banks, the ICTF is envisioned to drive greater competition, spur the development of innovative payment services to cater to the needs of different customer segments, and foster greater financial inclusion.