KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has no authority to exempt fees for consumers who use cashless payments as this was entirely up to service providers, the Dewan Rakyat was told Tuesday.
The Finance Ministry, in a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut), said some service providers are already offering discounts for consumers who use such payment methods.
Lim had asked the Government to state the reasons why payment with Touch 'n’ Go cards or e-payment through the Internet was not given discounts to encourage cashless transactions.
The ministry said that cashless payment or e-payment was becoming more popular as it was safer and easier to use, and many service providers had started exempting fees for their customers.
It said such exemption by the service providers was made possible through the e-Payment Incentive Fund (ePIF), a scheme initiated by banking institutions to encourage cashless payments.
"The banking institutions have benefited from this fund, where RM105.8mil was used between 2015 and 2016 to give discounts and fee exemptions to consumers who use this method," it said.
The fee exemptions, it added, included Internet banking, security token fee, inter-bank Giro (IBG) and Instant Transfers.
"Besides that, the consumers who use Touch 'n’ Go Plusmiles cards to pay toll at PLUS highways enjoy a 5% rebate and those who use KTM by Rapid can enjoy a discount of up to 20%," it said.
Lim, at a press conference later, said the Government should encourage cashless payments, especially when using Touch 'n’ Go.
"They should consider giving discounts to users who use cashless payments," he said, adding that in some countries, it was the norm to give a discount when using electronic payments.
Imposing fees on cashless payments has become an issue, with consumers complaining that they have to pay a 10% surcharge (20 sen) for parking fees.
Touch 'n’ Go, however, reportedly said that this was the standard amount charged by mutual agreement between them, the parking operator and the building owner.
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