Bank Negara has just imposed some new measures on credit cards, with objective "to promote prudent financial management and responsible business practices".
Now, you need to have a minimum income of RM24,000 per annum in order to be eligible to apply for new credit card, compared with the previous RM18,000 per annum.
In addition, if your income is less than RM36,000 per annum, you can only hold credit cards from a maximum of 2 issuers, and your maximum combined credit limit per issuer shall not exceed 2x your monthly income.
This will affect at least 50% of existing credit card holders in Malaysia, as "currently 50% of 3.2 million credit card holders have income below RM36,000".
I think this is a good measure, as long as the merchants also accept for alternative card payment mode, such as debit cards, charge cards (American Express, Diners Club, ...) or ATM cards (MEPS, e-POS, ...).
After all, credit card is meant for convenient to make cashless payment, and not for making spending that we can't affort to repay in near future.
There will be tighter security for credit card transactions too.
Effective 1 January 2012, transaction alerts via Short Messaging Service (SMS) will be implemented by card issuers for their card holders after transactions are performed. But who will bear the cost of the SMS sending? I hope that it is not the card holders.
On top of that, Personal Identification Number (PIN) verification for all card transactions will be imposed from 1 January 2015 onwards. This is a good measure, especially for unattended transactions such as petrol payment at the pump station. However, I wonder how this is going to apply for credit cards issued overseas. We do have many expatriates and tourists holding foriegn credit cards!
So, apart from the credit card holders, these new measures will most probably also affect:
- CIMB Direct Access - which target to fresh graduates.
- Mobile operators - they will have increased income in SMS soon.