ABM: In response to the article, "Members of the public face long queues to change cards" published on Borneo Post Online

December 20, 2016
Reference is made to the above article published in the Borneo Post Online on Friday, 16 December 2016.

  1. Measures to facilitate the replacement of debit cards
    1. The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) wishes to explain that the majority of the replacement debit cards have to be collected by the customers from a bank branch. Debit cards, unlike credit cards, are not mailed directly to the customers as they have to be personalized on collection and require MyKad identification.
    2. Card issuers have been using multiple channels to notify customers to collect their cards and have also implemented various measures to encourage cardholders to collect their debit cards.
    3. The multiple channels include ATM screen messages where customers are reminded to update their contact details and change their old debit cards, statement inserts, SMS, email, internet banking, as well as advertisements in various media. The methods employed vary depending upon the card issuer.
    4. To encourage cardholders to collect and activate their debit cards, the following are some examples of the steps taken by card issuers:
      • Promotions to incentivise cardholders to collect their new PIN debit cards;
      • Extending branch opening hours to the evening and opening of selected branches on weekends to enable customers to visit the branch outside of office hours. There are currently about 102 bank branches in East Malaysia (61 bank branches in Sarawak and 41 bank branches in Sabah) that have extended operation hours and/or are operating over the weekend to facilitate the collection of PIN-enabled debit cards. Please visit our website at www.abm.org.my for the details of such branches;
      • Mailing out debit cards where possible instead of requiring collection from branch; and
      • Issuing a replacement debit card over the counter whenever a customer comes to a branch to conduct other transactions.
    5. We would like to clarify that Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards are a type of debit card and as such, will also need to be upgraded to the new PIN-enabled card. However, it should be noted that old signature debit cards which are not replaced will continue to work for cash withdrawals at ATMs.
  2. Deadline for replacement of debit card
    1. We wish to highlight that the date of 30 June 2017 is not a deadline for card replacement. It is the date after which no more signature transactions will be permitted in Malaysia. If a customer replaces the signature card (credit or debit) with a new PIN-enabled card, but forgets the PIN when using the new PIN card at point-of-sale (POS) terminals, it is possible for the retailer to allow the customer to complete the transaction with signature. However this will stop on 1 July 2017, whereby only transactions with a PIN will be allowed.
    2. The industry deadline of 31 December 2016 is the same for all financial institutions. However not all cards (credit or debit) can be replaced at the same time due to the volume of cards involved. Individual institutions may notify different cardholders to collect their cards at different times to better manage the recarding exercise. The deadline set by the individual institutions may vary.
  3. No penalty imposed
    1. We would also like to highlight that penalties will not be levied against cardholders who fail to change their cards (credit or debit). However, please be warned that the old card may stop working for signature transactions at POS terminals if the cardholder does not change the card. Card issuers/organizations will have to inform cardholders in advance before that happens.
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