Astro recently updated its support website to inform customers that they will be incurring a surcharge if they choose to pay their Astro bill through selected payment channels. The surcharge which costs up to RM 0.50 per transaction, will take place starting from 1 January 2021.
Among such channels include convenience stores, supermarkets, sundry shops, kiosks, petrol stations, and e-wallets. This applies to merchants that utilise payment services by Razer Merchant Services, ATX, and Mobility One.
On another hand, the same surcharge is also coming to Astro bill payments that are made through merchants with e-Pay as their payment gateway provider starting from 16 January 2021 onwards. Meanwhile, Astro has also stated that this surcharge is being imposed by the collection agencies themselves and not by the company.
At the same time, Astro also pointed out that there are still other payment channels such as JomPAY, ATM, online banking, and Astro’s own self-service portal that users can utilise without incurring any surcharges. You can check out the full list right here at the company’s website.
Nevertheless, the update today still begs a question though: why Astro itself didn’t absorb the surcharge? Some may compare this situation to the directive that Bank Negara Malaysia has imposed on merchants in 2018 whereby they are prohibited from deferring payment surcharges to customers.
Then again, the directive only applies to credit and debit card payments. So, all in all, this question can only be addressed by Astro and its payment partners although we are not sure if we can get a straight answer from them.