Following public outcry that the new Touch ‘n Go Visa card can’t be used for Touch ‘n Go (TNG) toll payments, Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister (KPDN) Salahuddin Ayub have recommended the company to change the name of its Visa prepaid card. He said this is because the Touch ‘n Go brand is synonymous with the toll payment system.
Besides that, he also wants TNG to explain to users that the TNG Visa Prepaid cards were only for the purpose of purchasing goods and services, and for withdrawing money. He said the new Visa card can’t be used for the purpose of paying tolls and for public transport.
Yesterday, his Ministry held an engagement session with the Works Ministry, Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM), MyCC and Touch ‘n Go, to discuss the current problems and steps to solve them moving forward. Besides the TNG Visa card confusion, Salahuddin also talked about issues with the normal TNG card which is hard to purchase in the market. He also said a lot of consumers are also unaware that their TNG card has expired, have difficulty obtaining refunds for their old cards and there are scalpers selling TNG cards at exorbitant prices.
To address these issues, TNG has been instructed to increase the sales channels and service centres for TNG cards. All TNG users must be given early notification before the expiry of their cards, and TNG must also speed up refunds or transfers of credits between old and new cards. All unauthorised sales of TNG cards with huge markups must be removed from digital platforms and the enforcement arm of KPDN can take action under the Price Control Anti-profiteering Act 2011.
Salahuddin also said that the Works Ministry is also looking at the full implementation of RFID at all toll plazas and for highway concessionaires to immediately improve the capability of the RFID scanners to avoid congestion.
Under the previous administration, the government aims to implement a barrier-less Multi-Lane-Free-Flow (MLFF) highway tolling experience by 2025. Before the barriers (palang) can be removed, there are several things that the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Works and Ministry of Finance need to sort out immediately.
This includes removing TNG’s monopoly on toll payments and to enable an open payment system for RFID tags so that users can choose to pay for tolls using credit or debit cards as well as other eWallets. The legal framework needs to be enhanced to tackle toll evaders while the Transport Ministry needs to enforce standardised plates for effective automated number plate recognition and consider a more cost-effective way of RFID tagging such as RFID-integrated number plates or road tax.
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