PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - While the number of cheque fraud cases remains low, the public are encouraged to use online payment via Internet and mobile banking.
A Bank Negara official said electronic transactions gave individuals the convenience of transacting at anytime and anywhere without having to endure queues at bank counters.
With more payments done electronically, business costs are lowered through the redeployment of resources used for handling cash and cheques and savings in postage.
Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) executive director Chuah Mei Lin said they strongly advocated the use of e-payment as posting of cheques had its perils.
She advised those still using cheques to keep their cheque books in a safe place and to always check bank statements thoroughly. They should also keep abreast of the latest scams highlighted by the authorities and the media and to take the necessary precautions.
Chua said an average of 205 million cheques amounting to about RM2 trillion (S$771 billion) are issued annually.
"If a forged cheque is cashed or credited, the party liable would depend on the facts of the case.
"The central bank does not have rules and regulations on this. The matter would be resolved between the issuer's bank and the recipient's bank at the first level and the respective customers if need be."
Denying that cheques below a certain value are cleared less stringently than larger amounts, she said there are "very clear cheque processing protocol and guidelines" that the 27 commercial banks nationwide must comply with regardless of the value.
On average, the country's clearing house, Malaysian Electronic Clearing Corporation Sdn Bhd (MyClear), processes 17.18 million transactions amounting to RM164.67bil monthly.
MyClear, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Negara was incorporated in 2008, to provide easy and safe e-payment and fund transfer solutions like electronic cheque information clearing system (e-SPICK), to financial institutions, corporations, retailers and the public.
The system is an image-based clearing system where the cheque image and magnetic ink character recognition code line data are captured and transmitted electronically to reduce the risk and costs associated with the physical handling of cheques during the clearing process.
It enables customers to receive funds on the next business day.