Public outcry over impending RM1 interbank transaction fee


GEORGE TOWN: The public is seeking the government’s intervention over the impending return of the RM1 transaction fee for interbank ATM withdrawals this coming February, arguing that many are still grappling with the loss of income after two years into the Covid-19 pandemic.

Civil servant Chew Kok Rui, 29, said such a move should not be reintroduced at this juncture, urging the government to step in to ease the public’s burden.

“The timing of reinstating the RM1 charge is also questionable. Where is the justification?” he said.

Echoing Chew’s statement is general worker M. Mohana Sundaram, 51, who hopes the RM1 charge will be dropped.

“I think banks should do away with the charge.

“With many people still trying to get back on their feet, this is the least the banks can do in helping those in need, especially the B40 group,” he said.

Kuih seller Jamilah Abdul Rahman, 58, said it was not appropriate to re-implement the RM1 charge for now.

“Why do they want to charge the RM1 transaction fee now? They should wait for a little longer.

“RM1 may be a small amount for some, but those who are from the rural areas and underprivileged group will feel otherwise,” she said.

On Wednesday, several banks announced via their websites and social media that they will re-implement the RM1 fee for those making cash withdrawals at ATMs of banks other than their own.

These banks are part of the Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet), which had previously announced that it would waive the fee from April 6, 2020, until the end of the movement control order.

PayNet is the national payments network and shared central infrastructure for Malaysia’s financial markets, with Bank Negara Malaysia being the single largest shareholder, and 11 Malaysian financial institutions namely, Maybank, RHB, Public Bank, CIMB, AmBank, Hong Leong Bank, Affin Bank, Alliance Bank, Bank Islam Malaysia, Bank Muamalat and Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia, as joint shareholders.

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) president Mohideen Abdul Kader said the move, if re-implemented, would be too much for the people, especially rural folks.

“Not all banks have branches in every town. Banks should be more considerate in this aspect, especially to those who live in rural areas as there are not many ATM facilities near their places.

“They should also factor in other costs such as parking and transportation,” he said.

Mohideen also questioned whether the banks had secured approval from Bank Negara to go ahead with the move.

He said instead of re-implementing the RM1 fee, banks should help the people get back on their feet.

At press time, the Association of Banks in Malaysia, which has 32 member banks, had yet to issue a reply.

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transaction fee , interbank ATM , charge

   

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