Delivering Malaysia’s First
National Standard for Online Authentication

Infinitium to Develop Domestic Authentication Framework for PayNet

According to the Malaysian Payment Landscape syndicated report by Nielsen Malaysia, two in three Malaysians have a debit card and about 63 per cent of Malaysians use debit cards as the preferred method for cashless payment, reflecting a healthy scorecard on Malaysia’s evolving payment landscape and consumers’ shifting payment preferences towards cashless modes.

In fact, since the Malaysian Chip Card Initiative in 2015 where ATM cards were renewed into contactless-enabled debit cards, Malaysians now have the most convenient cashless payment options in their wallets. The debit cards come under the global card scheme – usually Visa or MasterCard – and allow for open-loop transactions so that consumers can utilise debit cards with merchants who are already accepting card payments.

Despite the encouraging adoption of debit cards, there are still quality gaps to address and improve on to facilitate a more seamless transaction experience for consumers.

Debit transactions today rely on an older platform that utilises inter-bank Internet banking feature, which imposes a limiting factor for the onboarding of debit card usage among pre-users. The current debit transaction platform requires the account holder to be an existing Internet banking user to be able to participate in payments using debit card.

Further, as each bank operates its own Internet banking platform, including the online authentication aspect, inter-bank transactions tend to involve multiple re-direction between sites for a payment to be completed, resulting in a myriad of user experiences including inconsistent payment flow and multiple failure points in online transactions. On a macro-level, as most debit card operates on Visa or MasterCard schemes, the authentication layer for online payments is provided by these global schemes rather than through domestic handling.

In effort to promote a national standard for online authentication and enable domestic authentication for all debit card payments in Malaysia, the journey of Infinitium began with PayNet, Malaysia’s premier payments network and central infrastructure provider for financial markets, to develop a solution framework to meet this goal.

Infinitium’s expertise and experience as a leading provider in e-payment solutions and technology within the region naturally led to its appointment as the technology partner in developing the framework for PayNet. Infinitium is now in the process of developing a next-generation domestic authentication platform based on EMVCo’s 3D Secure 2.0, which is a global standard adopted by all major card schemes in the world including Visa, MasterCard, Amex, JCB and Union Pay.

With the EMVCo 3DS 2.0 framework, Infinitium aims to create a standardised domestic authentication framework across Malaysia that will be adopted as the national standard for all debit card payments in Malaysia. This will be the first of such national standard for online authentication, and in line with Bank Negara Malaysia’s Payment Card Reform Framework (PCRF) to foster an efficient, transparent and competitive payment card industry in Malaysia.

The solution is currently in its first phase involving consultancy, design and formulation of the framework and specifications, before moving into the next phase of technical infrastructure development and production. The service is expected to be launched in the market in the fourth quarter of 2020. With a tight timeline to deliver, Infinitium’s determination is driven by the call for excellence to enable a robust payments system for Malaysians.

As Malaysia accelerate its gear towards electronic payments and a cashless society, the development and subsequent implementation of this domestic authentication framework to standardise all debit card payments will spur greater adoption given the array of benefits.

The domestic authentication framework is expected to garner positive impact to the overall digital commerce adoption rate for debit card as it will complement all stakeholders in the payments ecosystem with a standardised authentication flow, in that enabling greater acceptance capability for a more streamlined and uniform user experience.

With the roll-out of this national framework, cardholders will be able to use their debit card conveniently for online transactions without the need to activate and opt-in for Internet banking feature. Debit cardholders will get to enjoy the same online payment experience as those with credit cards using global schemes, whereby debit cardholders simply enter the 16-digit card number with the expiry date and verify the authentication by the corresponding issuing bank via one-time password (OTP), biometric or risk-based authentication.


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