BNM governor urges industry players to drive RPP promotion

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 11): Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim has called on all industry players to drive the promotion of the upcoming real-time retail payments platform (RPP) as the initiative offers great benefits.

“Let us make the RPP services a household service and transform all mobile phones into mobile wallets.

“The RPP should not be merely a banking service but a lifestyle solution,” he said in his keynote address at the Malaysian E-Payments Excellence Awards 2018 here today.

Citing the benefits of the RPP, he said it would allow users to make and receive payments conveniently using their identification card, mobile and business registration numbers or by scanning a common quick response (QR) code.

“We do not need to suffer the agony of remembering our account numbers ever again,” he added.

The RPP will be facilitated by a national addressing database (NAD) and an interoperable QR code payment scheme.

“Seamless and secure payments between bank and non-bank e-money accounts will also become a reality,” he said.

Muhammad urged the industry to promote the RPP by facilitating user registration with the NAD and merchant adoption of the common QR code, among others.

He also said the industry ought to build on the RPP and enhance its research and development capabilities.

“One such area is through the publication of open application programming interfaces, better known as open APIs. Based on our interaction with the banking community, there is interest for this among our banks.

“BNM’s survey last year indicated that more than 50 per cent of banks in Malaysia view open API as a high priority. Thus the industry should leverage on open API to facilitate collaboration with financial technology firms to introduce innovations and facilitate new use cases to enhance the RPP’s value proposition to businesses and consumers,” he added.

On digital disruption, Muhammad said data collected showed an increase in the number of non-bank e-money issuers from 26 in 2016 to 41 as at the end of last month.

“BNM more than welcomes a more competitive payment landscape. We desire new entrees. We are not in the business of protecting the incumbents. We also do not pick winners and losers,” he said, adding that the market would decide those who would prosper.

 “What matters most, from the public policy perspective, is that Malaysian businesses and consumers will benefit from a more vibrant, competitive and efficient ecosystem,” he said.

Muhammad noted that another important area where innovation played a major role was to advance financial inclusion through digitalisation.

“Of the Malaysian adult population of 24 million, we estimate that about 10 million do not use online banking, while two million remain unbanked.

“We look to the industry, both banks and non-banks, to come up with new and imaginative ways to accelerate the onboarding of these underbanked and unbanked segments of our society,” he said.

To support this, transaction fee for instant transfer transactions up to RM5,000 would be waived effective July 1, 2018, for individuals and small and medium enterprises, he noted.

Muhammad said strategies beyond monetary incentives must also be employed.

“For example, mobile payment applications should be convenient, fast, secure, simple and intuitive. With so many things competing for our attention these days, the design of customer experience is critical. Delivering a superior customer experience is a major source of competitive advantage,” he added. — Bernama