Foreign banks join MEPS
PETALING JAYA: Five major foreign banks in Malaysia have joined the Malaysian Electronic Payment System ( MEPS) automated teller machine (ATM) network, which until recently had been the domain of local banks.
Effective next year, HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd, OCBC Bank (M) Bhd, United Overseas Bank ( M) Bhd (UOB), Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd (StanChart) and Citibank Bhd will form part of the MEPs family, enabling customers to use the ATM facilities on a wider scale. StanChart and Citibank had earlier announced their decisions last week.
The agreement links the banks to the MEPS service which provides interbank cash withdrawals and balance enquiries at more than 10,000 ATMs nationwide.
However, the banks will launch the service individually over time as soon as their respective systems are fully operational. Currently, there are 14 foreign banks in Malaysia.
This development is in line with recommendations in the Financial Sector Masterplan to allow incumbent foreign banks to set up a shared ATM network and introduce new foreign competition.
Given the intensifying degree of global competition and greater assimilation into the global arena, the banking sector has to be prepared for greater liberalisation.
HSBC general manager (personal financial services) Lim Eng Seong said through this partnership, the bank hoped to expand its reach to a larger and more diverse market segment.
"We aim to raise the bar in customer experience. Thanks to Bank Negara's various liberalisation initiatives, customers of locally incorporated foreign banks now have a wider access to their banking needs," he said in the joint statement yesterday.
OCBC head of consumer financial services Charles Sik said the combined customer base of the four banks would expand the national electronic payments solutions service in Malaysia to be one of the most convenient in this part of the world. -PB News
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