Singapore, Malaysia link electronic payment systems

In what is considered to be a regional first, Singapore's Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) and Malaysia's Electronic Payment System (MEPS) have signed a memorandum of understanding to link their respective nationwide electronic payment systems.

The link-up, which is expected to be operational by late 2003, will allow MEPS cardholders from Malaysia to access more than 22,000 of NETS point of sales terminals (POS) in Singapore. It is not yet clear how many POS terminals MEPS has in Malaysia.

The Singapore banks tied to NETS electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) system include DBS Group, OCBC Bank, United Overseas Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. In Malaysia, banks linked to a similar MEPS system, Debit ePOS, are Affin Bank, AmBank, Maybank and Public Bank.

NETS in a report assured that the recent cases of fraud involving remote ATM machines in Malaysia would not be duplicated with the use of POS terminals, which are operated by retail staff.

In June this year Bumiputra Commerce Bank, Bumiputra Commerce Finance, Hong Leong Bank, Hong Leong Finance, Southern Bank and Southern Finance suspended their ATM links with MEPS following a spate of unauthorized cash withdrawals.

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