All 26 Malaysian banks will stop charging customers for using cash and cheques for repayment of credit card or loan financing in the offline branch. This statement was made by the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM), just two days after a widespread public uproar.
1. The charges were initially RM2 per transaction over the counter
The banks imposed RM2 fee for transactions made over the counter (OTC) and also RM0.50 for payments made using cash deposit, cash recycling and cheque deposit machines. For customers who used cash and cheques to make their credit card or loan financing repayments through these methods would have had to pay the charges too.
2. ABM stating that it was a move to encourage customers to use e-services
Consumers’ Association of Penang wrote a complaint to Bank Negara Malaysia to state its objection to the new transaction fees. Similar complaints were made by the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) and Federation of Malaysian Consumer Association (FOMCA) arguing that the implementing of RM2 fee was unfair to those who did not do their banking via digital channels.
Bank Negara once said it requires commercial banks to channel cheque fees collected to the e-Payment Incentive Fund (ePIF) which serves to incentivise the adoption of e-payment, in line with the central bank’s aim to move towards a cashless society.
3. 26 banks have decided to drop the surcharges imposed on offline transactions
After the discussion, 26 banks have decided to drop the surcharges imposed on several offline transactions. Currently, disabled persons and senior citizens are already waived from these charges according to ABM. Walk-in customers can opt to conduct banking transactions and obtain services as provided via automated teller machines (ATMs) for free.
4. The decision was made after a customer confronting a bank teller
Recently, a male customer asked the customer service staff member about the unfamiliar RM2 fee he had to pay when he made a loan repayment over the counter at a bank branch. Most of the audience voting against the fee and he called the fees as ‘grossly unfair’.
He expressed that as customers, we are already paying so much interest on loan and the bank’s online service is often down – which is another solid reason for the bank not to take such a fee from customers.