Touch ‘n Go 10% surcharge to be removed gradually

pic by TMR FILE

ELECTRONIC payment system Touch ‘n Go (TNG) will gradually end its 10% surcharge imposed at parking facilities, said Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen.

The CIMB Group Holdings Bhd owned company has initiated a programme that ensures all new contracts or future renewals will not impose any merchant discount rate surcharges.

“As for existing surcharge-based contracts, it will expire in stages,” Chong told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (Barisan Nasional-Ayer Hitam) had asked on how the government restricts the monopoly on the use of TNG electronic payment cards in view of the additional 10% charge on parking and 50 sen for each additional reloads.

“According to the Malaysian Competition Commission, an agency under the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs charged with enforcing the Competition Act 2010, an additional 10% is charged only where both payment methods TNG and cash are available at the same time.

“The TNG service in this situation is seen as an easy alternative to cash. This means that users are given the choice whether to use TNG as a payment method,” Chong said.

He said the current 10% surcharge is a contractual obligation between TNG card and carpark operators with dual parking systems.

In areas where only the TNG infrastructure is available as a payment method, Chong said no additional charge will apply.

On the 50 sen surcharge for card top-ups, Chong said there are 2,880 locations out of 11,168 nationwide that do not impose the top-up surcharge.

“Reloads for free can be done at several locations such as TNG customer service counters, TNG Spot and retail outlets such as Watsons, Guardian, Tesco, KK Mart and Caring Pharmacy, with an estimate of up to 2,000 locations.”

“It is also up to the users to reload at locations with an additional charge of 50 sen,” he said.

Among locations that charge 50 sen for each reload transaction are certain petrol stations, shopping outlets, automated teller machines and sundry shops.

“However, these additional charges are not charged by TNG, but are charged by stores that provide this value-added service to users,” Chong clarified.

“The government also believes TNG is not a monopoly in the electronic money market as there are other players like MCash, Boost, GrabPay and AliPay. A list of electronic money licencees and industry players is also listed on Bank Negara Malaysia’s website,” Chong said.

In a supplementary question, Datuk Seri Dr Edmund Santhara (Pakatan Harapan-Segamat) suggested that the government, through either Khazanah Nasional Bhd or the Employees Provident Fund, to take over TNG.

To this, Chong said he will bring the suggestion to the government’s attention.