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Micro and small businesses to be unaffected by DuitNow QR waiver lift

Micro and small businesses to be unaffected by DuitNow QR waiver lift

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Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet) has been in the hot seat over concerns about fees imposed on merchants and individuals when they use the National QR Standard DuitNow QR. However, major banks and non-bank financial service providers will waive transaction fees for micro and small businesses accepting DuitNow QR payments, according to a statement by Bank Negara Malaysia.

PayNet will also allocate resources to help defray the costs incurred by acquirers that continue to offer full waivers to micro and small businesses accepting DuitNow QR payments, added the statement.

Banks such as Maybank, Bank Islam and Hong Leong Bank have reportedly put out statements to inform their customers that they will continue to accept payments through the DuitNow QR service.

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These statements by the banks follow PayNet’s announcement that its four-year waiver on the merchant discount rate (MDR), which is charged based on a percentage of the payment transaction value, has been uplifted. This means that merchants will receive payments made by their customers after the MDR has been deducted. The waiver was expected to end earlier but was extended due to the outbreak of COVID-19, a statement from the company said.

As for DuitNow QR’s charges to consumers, PayNet explained that a RM0.50 fee has already been in place for peer-to-peer fund transfers using personal QR codes that are above RM5,000 and is not a new charge.

“The transaction fee is intended to cover costs and investments needed by the industry to upkeep their payment systems, including cybersecurity and fraud prevention controls, in order to maintain the high service and security standards for payment services,” added BNM.

Currently, the imposition of a transaction fee for payments made through the DuitNow QR will be discussed in a meeting of the National Action Council on Cost of Living, according to Senator Fuziah Salleh, as reported by Bernama.

Despite the buzz around its fees, PayNet and Ant Group have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote improved payment methods for inbound and outbound Malaysian travellers.

Through the partnership, travellers to Malaysia will enjoy digital payments with over 1.8 million merchants nationwide while Malaysian residents will be able to pay with e-wallets from their home country abroad, according to a statement by the brand.

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