Bank Negara’s proposal to increase the cost of using cheques from 15 sen to 65 sen beginning April 2014, is unwarranted and should be withdrawn.
Though Bank Negara wants to encourage consumers to move to using electronic payment, it is premature to do so as online transactions too have their limits.
Firstly, there is the question of safety and reliability. Is it safe to transfer large sums of money online? Losses in internet banking due to fraud were RM3.2 million in 2012. When more are forced to use online transfer of money, the figure can be expected to go up.
From experience we know how difficult it is for consumers to fight the banks when something goes wrong with their electronic transfers of money. The banks invariably reply that their system is running smoothly and the loss has to be borne by the consumer.
Secondly, not everyone is internet savvy while others do not have access to the internet.
When consumers feel comfortable with transferring money online, they will automatically start doing so because of its convenience.
Until then, it is not fair for consumers to be penalized for using cheques.
Press Statement, 27 March 2012