A READER wrote to a newspaper complaining about charges imposed by Touch ‘n Go to activate frozen cards not used for more than a year.
The fact that it enjoys a monopolistic position allows it to dictate terms. If a parallel vendor were to install card payment machines side by side in all Touch ‘n Go locations, such healthy competition is bound to benefit the people. Customers can then use their ATM cards, which are also debit cards, to pay toll charges or train tickets.
Instead of deactivating the card if not used within 12 months and imposing charges to activate them, it should do the opposite by assuring customers that the value in their cards will be retained indefinitely.
In this way, more people will store higher value in Touch ‘n Go cards. I learnt this 35 years ago when processing claims for lost American Express Travellers’ Cheques. I realised that a percentage of these cheques are not used, and some may be kept for so long until they are forgotten.
In any case, there is a time lapse for Touch ‘n Go to receive cash from customers until the value stored in the card is used.
During this period, the money can be kept in the bank to earn interest, which will be quite substantial as the amount is huge. Surely, this is a better strategy than inconveniencing customers as highlighted by the writer.