[ UPDATE 17/11/2023 12:53 ] KTMB said that credit card payments will be supported by the end of November. Apple Pay and Samsung Pay support will be implemented next year.
KTM Komuter users are now able to pay for their rides using a debit card at all stations in Klang Valley and the Northern region. This is following the announcement made by Transport Minister Anthony Loke at the Parliament last month.
However, the implementation by KTM Berhad is not as thorough as what was announced by the minister. As opposed to the open payment system at highway toll plazas which covers both debit and credit cards, Komuter service currently only supports a particular group of debit cards.
KTM Komuter payment system can only accept MyDebit-branded debit cards
In his parliamentary reply to the MP of Subang, Wong Chen, Anthony said that all 57 KTM Komuter stations in Klang Valley would be able to support debit and credit cards as well as the traditional Touch ‘n Go card and QR-based KTM Wallet inside the KTMB Mobile app. This is thanks to the rollout of the brand-new Automated Control Gates (ACG) which have a total cost of RM29 million and are supposedly able to support the open payment system.
When it comes to the actual implementation though, users can only utilise MyDebit-branded debit cards for the time being. For those who were not familiar with MyDebit cards, they were essentially the debit cards that you received from local banks when you opened a savings or current account with them.
These cards are usually Visa or Mastercard cards too. So, you may overlooked the existence of the MyDebit logo on them since both of these brands are synonymous with card payments.
No support for prepaid and credit cards as well as foreign payment cards
Since KTM will only accept MyDebit-branded debit cards, this means you can’t use a prepaid debit card to pay for your Komuter rides even though they are issued locally.
We have several such cards in Malaysia such as the Touch ‘n Go eWallet Visa, BigPay Visa, and Malaysia Airlines Enrich Money Visa. Not to forget, the upcoming and much talked about MyOnePAS Mastercard too.
Unlike what Anthony said at the Parliament last month, you are also not able to use credit cards to pay for KTM Komuter right now. This has been confirmed by KTMB through several replies to questions from Facebook users.
While this is not exactly a big issue for Malaysians since a large portion of the population does own a MyDebit card, having wider support for debit and credit cards would make the Komuter service more friendly to tourists. It is unclear whether this will change anytime soon but this seemed like a missed opportunity for KTMB.
If you somehow insist on using a credit card or non-MyDebit debit card to pay for your Komuter ride, you can use it to top up credit into the KTM Wallet inside the KTMB Mobile app instead.
What’s with the RM30 pre-authorisation hold?
Aside from being limited to just MyDebit cards, the debit card payment option for Komuter also involved a pre-authorisation hold. This concept is similar to the pre-authorisation process for debit card payment at petrol stations although the amount involved here is much lower.
In the case of Komuter, RM30 of your fund would be put on hold as the pre-authorisation hold, as soon as you tap your MyDebit card on the payment card scanner at the ACG. Your Komuter fare will then be deducted from the amount and the balance will then be refunded to you within one to three days.
According to the FAQ published by KTMB, the exact time taken for you to receive the refund depends on the bank that issued the MyDebit card to you. The national rail operator also said that users may charged pre-authorisation hold more than once per day if the hold amount dipped to under RM10.
If the payment system is not able to obtain the pre-authorisation hold from the debit card, it would then be temporarily blacklisted from the system. The cardholder then has to sort the matter out directly at the counter once they reach their destination station.
The FAQ did not mention why KTMB has set RM30 as the pre-authorisation amount. If we have to guess, it most likely has to do with the fact that the most expensive single journey fare is between Pelabuhan Klang and Pulau Sebang/Tampin which costs RM23.20.
Meanwhile, you will also be charged a full adult fare when you pay for a Komuter ride using a MyDebit card. To get the discounted children’s fare, you have to get the manual ticket either through the ticket counter or an automated ticket kiosk.