PM to discuss DuitNow QR fee on Tuesday

MELAKA: The Prime Minister will be chairing a special meeting on the imposition of a transaction fee for payments via DuitNow QR this Tuesday, says Fuziah Salleh.

The Deputy Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister said the special meeting of the National Action Council on Cost of Living would be attended by representatives of Bank Negara Malaysia as the regulator of the country’s banking sector.

“Some 1.874 million people use the DuitNow QR platform (for cashless transactions).

“If nearly 1.9 million people use DuitNow, how much money does the bank make? We (the ministry) are afraid that users will be affected,” she told reporters after launching the Melaka-level Rahmah Sales programme here yesterday.

Also present were State Entrepreneur, Cooperative Development and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Allex Seah Shoo Chin and Melaka Domestic Trade and Living Costs Ministry director Norena Jaafar.

Fuziah also expressed concern that the imposition of the transaction fee would impede the implementation of the country’s digitalisation programmes as outlined under the 12th Malaysia Plan.

The ministry, she said, had previously implemented the Retail Sector Digitalisation Initiative programme to help small entrepreneurs, especially in making digital payment methods more accessible to consumers.

“We are worried that the transaction fee will have a negative impact on these (micro and small) traders and consumers,” she said.

On Thursday, Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet) confirmed that a transaction fee would be imposed on vendors for payments received through the DuitNow QR platform effective Nov 1, 2023.

This comes following the lifting of a waiver on the fees for DuitNow QR payments, which was granted to promote its usage during its introduction in 2019 and then extended due to the Covid-19 pandemic

However, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the waiver should be made permanent.

Some banks, including CIMB, Public Bank, Maybank and Hong Leong Bank and Hong Leong Islamic Bank, have since announced that they will waive the charges for the moment.

Meanwhile, Fuziah said the public could get supplies of local rice at the Agro Madani Sales programme and subsidised imported rice through the Rahmah Sales programme.

She said information about the locations of the sales programmes were available on the websites of the ministry and the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama).

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