KUANTAN: Many are still using cheques for financial transactions even though making payments electronically through online banking can reduce the cost of doing business, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) assistant governor Abu Hassan Alshari Yahaya.
He said that based on the data from the previous three years, an average of205 million cheques amounting to about RM2 trillion were issued on anannual basis, making it higher than several advanced countries.
“In terms of the number of cheques over the country’s population, or cheques per capita, it is at 7:1. This figure is much higher than 3:9 in advanced countries such as Norway, Finland and Australia.
“It is also worth noting that 92% or 18.4 million of the total adultpopulation in Malaysia have banking accounts and of these, about 74% of bank account holders have Internet banking accounts.
“However, only 43% or 5.9 million of the Internet banking subscribers are active users in conducting financial transactions,” said Abu Hassan at the ExperienceInterbank Giro (IBG) roadshow here recently.
The roadshow was jointly organised by BNM, the Association of Banks inMalaysia, the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia and the banking institutions to create awareness amongst small businesses on online banking services, particularly IBG.
Abu Hassan said the use of electronic payments could actually reduceresources previously used to handle cash and cheques.
“You can save on your petrol expenses, parking fees or even avoid being issued a ticket for illegal parking and most importantly, you will be able to save time that could be utilised to increase your business productivity.
“This is because online banking allows you to enjoy the convenience of banking anytime and anywhere without the hassle of having to queue at the bank counter or hiring employees to perform daily banking activities,” saidAbu Hassan.
Abu Hassan said there were still concerns on security which must be allayed as these were just common misconception.
“Banks have robust safety and security controls in place which makes the likelihood of hacking very low. The losses due to Internet banking fraud accounts was for only 0.0002% of the total transactions of RM3 trillion recorded in 2012 and this figure has declined to 0.0001% of the transaction amount of RM2.6 trillion in the first nine months this year,” he said.
He added that to encourage the migration to e-payments, BNM had announced a new pricing strategy for payment services in March.
“The transaction fee for IBG conducted viathe Internet and mobile banking has been reduced from RM2 to 10 cents with effect from May 2.
“This is to give the public and businesses an 11-month head start to adopt e-payments before the cheque processing fee of 50 cents is imposed from April 1 next year,” said Abu Hassan.
He said IBG services via ATM and self-service Internet kiosks would also be deployed at almost all bank branches nationwide to facilitate those who donot have access to Internet banking.