KUALA LUMPUR: Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet) has cleared the air about the imposition of a DuitNow QR transaction fee on payments and transfers made with credit cards from Nov 1, 2023.
In a statement today, the operator of DuitNow QR confirmed that vendors will be charged a transaction fee for payments received via the DuitNow QR code platform but there were several confusions that should be clarified.
"The concerns raised on the impact of the fees imposed on merchants and prices of goods and services are understandable. However, two different e-payment types have been described by the media as the same, namely the merchant discount rate (MDR) and the 50 sen fee for transactions exceeding RM5,000.
"The story has inaccurately described two different types of e-payments as one and the same,” it said.
The operator was responding to media reports on a local banking institution notifying their customers of the impending imposition of transaction fees for DuitNow QR payments and transfers made with credit cards from Nov 1, 2023, and a few banks who were purportedly unaware of this matter.
PayNet said a merchant would receive the payment made by their customers after deducting the MDR.
"Currently, debit and credit card payments are subject to MDR while there is an MDR waiver for QR payments. Starting Oct 1, the MDR waiver for DuitNow QR payments will be lifted, it said.
On the other hand, the 50 sen fee for transactions above RM5,000 is for peer-to-peer fund transfers from a personal QR to another personal QR, not payments to merchants, PayNet said, adding that this is completely unrelated to the first mentioned QR payments to a merchant.
"Under no circumstances will both fees be imposed for the same transaction,” PayNet said.
It also said the collected MDR would be shared between PayNet and the relevant bank or third-party acquirer to cover the upkeep of the network as well as costs incurred by banks and third-party acquirers for onboarding merchants to enjoy the service.
"To incentivise adoption during the QR payment introductory period in 2019, MDR was waived and this waiver was further extended due to the outbreak of COVID-19. It is neither a new nor an additional fee,” it said.
The MDR waiver ends on Oct 1, 2023 but the waiver should have ended over nine months ago, said PayNet, adding that a reserve fund would be established with the MDR collected by PayNet to incentivise acquirers not to charge smaller businesses.
"Whilst PayNet is not in a position to dictate what the market charges merchants, several banks and third-party acquirers intend to either continue to defer imposing the MDR or absorb it for smaller businesses.
"In this respect, merchants should check with their bank or third-party acquirer to confirm this matter,” it pointed out.
On the 50 sen charges, PayNet clarified that it was inaccurate to state the fee applies to payments made to merchants and also inaccurate to state that MDRs are charged for funds transfers using personal QRs.
"The 50 sen fee is for fund transfers above RM5,000 using personal DuitNow QRs,” it said.
CREDIT, DEBIT CARD PURCHASES ALREADY SUBJECT TO MDR
PayNet also clarified that purchases using credit and debit cards were already subject to MDR and products and services purchased with credit or debit cards were priced the same as cash purchases.
"Likewise, we do not foresee prices of goods and services to be affected by purchases using DuitNow QR after MDR is imposed,” it said.
On allegations that transacting in cash is free, PayNet said that a study by global research firm Roubini Thoughtlab in 2018 confirmed that this belief is misplaced because the estimated benefit of going cashless to businesses far outweighs the cost.
"The 15-year (2017 to 2032) cumulative net benefit of US$4.2 billion (US$1=RM4.705) can be expected due to the savings from reduced paperwork and benefits of e-payments (namely, increased interest earned, no manual reconciliation, no shortfall related losses, lesser headcount and time saved from handling cash),” it said.
PayNet said any discussion or dialogue on the matter should be premised on an accurate and fully informed understanding of the facts and how the digital payment industry actually operates. - Bernama