I am watching you, MyCC tells PLUS, Touch 'n Go on implementation of RFID

I am watching you, MyCC tells PLUS, Touch 'n Go on implementation of RFID
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 20): The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) said it will continue to monitor PLUS Malaysia Bhd and Touch 'n Go Sdn Bhd in relation to the implementation of the radio frequency identification (RFID) technology along PLUS highways to ensure they do not breach competition laws.

“Taking into account the special responsibilities arising from the dominant positions of both enterprises in the relevant markets, MyCC will continue to monitor the situation from time to time and when any competition concern is identified, the Competition Act 2010 will be enforced," the competition regulator's chief executive officer Iskandar Ismail said in a statement.

"Secondly, it is pertinent to remember that innovation-related markets can create uncertainty. Thus, MyCC will work closely with the government to ensure these changes will always serve the consumers’ best interest,” he added.

The RFID system implemented by PLUS, the country's largest highway operator, is supplied by Touch 'n Go.

On Jan 15, PLUS had introduced the RFID tag system at 83 toll plazas along the North-South Expressway, but congestion issues had occurred at toll plazas at the early stages of its implementation.

It was reported that some motorists were forced to reverse their vehicles out of the RFID lanes and had to continue using the Touch 'n Go and SmartTag lanes.

MyCC said it had on Monday (Jan 17) held a discussion with PLUS and Touch 'n Go to have a better understanding of the nature of the matter and the latest progress in relation to the implementation of RFID. During the meeting, it had proposed enabling access to other payment platforms for the payment of tolls not only via debit or credit cards, but also other e-wallet systems.

"While we welcome innovation such as the introduction of RFID in the toll collection system, MyCC believes that the implementation of the system needs to be carried out effectively in order to achieve its objective.

"MyCC takes cognisance of the plans to ensure a seamless transition to RFID for highway users and the cooperation between PLUS and Touch 'n Go in the relevant toll collection system," said the regulator.

"MyCC will also focus its efforts in consistently monitoring the development of the said implementation in line with its role in championing and promoting the process of competition in the interest of all Malaysians," it added.

Kang Siew Li