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Bank Negara explains
Published on: Wednesday, March 25, 2020
By: The Star
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File photo from Bernama.
FAQs on access to essential financial services during movement control order (MCO)

Question 1: What are essential financial services?

Answer: The types of financial services considered as essential during this containment period are as follows:
  • Self-service terminals e.g. ATMs, Cash, Cheque and Coin Deposit Machines will be fully operational in accessible locations i.e. for premises and locations not affected by MCO. However, daily operating hours for all Self-Service Terminals including ATMs will be restricted from 7.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. during this containment period.
  • Online banking i.e. electronic banking, mobile banking; payment card services; and cheque processing services are fully operational
  • Money changing and remittance services are still available at bank branches
  • Processing and handling of insurance and takaful claims, issuance of guarantee letters and annual renewal of insurance and takaful policies.


E-payment providers are considered an essential service as they fall under the category of E-commerce, which has been approved by the National Security Council as an essential service under the MCO.

While all providers of these essential services are allowed to provide limited counter services throughout this period, we strongly encourage you to use electronic channels and avoid unnecessary trips to the branches and premises of these providers for your own safety and health.

Q2: Will all financial service providers be closed? Or is it business as usual?

A: No, it is not business as usual in view of the need to ensure social distancing measures are observed during this MCO period for the safety and health of the customers and employees of financial service providers alike.

The providers of essential financial services that have been approved to operate during this period are banks, development financial institutions, insurance and takaful companies. But, you should expect some disruption or delays in normal branch operations in line with the need to ensure effective crowd containment. Some branches may be closed and branches that are open will have limited counter services or reduced operating hours.

However, all your usual banking transactions can still be conducted through online or mobile banking. If you do not have an online account, you can still withdraw and deposit cash, and make fund transfers and bill payments at self-service terminals i.e. ATMs and cash deposit machines.

If you do need to make a trip to the bank or insurance company, please do check their websites first to confirm which branches are open, or call their customer service hotlines.

Q3. Will I be able to access my bank account?

A: Yes, you can continue to access your bank account as usual through mobile or online banking and self-service terminals.

Counter services are available but on a very limited basis. For those who require counter services, please check the websites or call the customer service hotline of your bank to find out which branches are open and what services are available.

Q4. Will the ATMs run out of cash? Any changes to ATM operations?

A: Bank Negara Malaysia and all banks have established the necessary infrastructure to ensure that ATMs nationwide will continue to be stocked with sufficient cash to meet the needs of all households and businesses during this MCO period.

Please note, daily operating hours for ATMs will be restricted from 7.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. for the duration of the MCO.

Q5. Will I still be able to use my e- wallets and e-accounts?

A: Yes, all e-payment providers are still operating during this containment period and there will be no disruption to e-payment transactions or acceptance services during this period of containment.

Also, refer to response to Question 1 above.

Q6. I am a merchant. Will e-payment acceptance services e.g. POS terminals, QR code payments, e- commerce payments) continue to be operational?

A: Yes, all e-payment providers are still operating during this containment period and there will be no disruption to e-payment transactions or acceptance services during this period of containment.

Also, refer to response to Question 1 above.

Q7. I need to remit some money to my child who is studying abroad, but all money changers and remittance service providers are closed. What do I do?

A: Please check on the websites or call the customer hotlines of banks to check which branches are offering money changing and remittance services during the MCO period.

While non-bank money changers and remittance service providers are not allowed to operate or offer counter services at this time, some are offering online services which are fully operational during this period. Please refer to the Bank’s website www.bnm.gov.my/msb, MSB Advisor app or websites of these providers for more information.

Q8. My bank branch is closed, what do I do?

A: Please check on your bank’s website or call its customer hotline to find out which branches are open during this period.

Also, refer to responses to questions 2 and 3 above.

Q9. I am facing serious financial difficulties and worry that I may not be able to meet my monthly credit card and loan instalments. What do I do?

A: All banks and development financial institutions stand ready to provide restructuring and rescheduling facilities to borrowers who are facing financial distress arising from Covid-19.

Contact your bank officer via the phone or email to discuss how they can help you restructure or reschedule your loan to get you through this difficult period.

Q10.I have medical insurance and need urgent medical treatment. How do I get a guarantee letter issued? Are insurance and takaful operators (ITOs) open during the MCO period?

A: See the responses to Questions 1 and 2 above.

Q11. I was involved in a car accident. Are workshops still open? Whom do I notify to make a claim on my motor policy?

A: See the responses to Questions 1 and 2 above.

In addition, the National Security Council has approved towing services and repair workshops to operate as allowable non-essential services during this MCO period.

Q12. I work with a bank/ insurance company. Do I still need to come to work during this MCO period?

A: In line with the regulations and advisories issued by the Federal Government, only staff involved in providing essential financial services or critical operations necessary to support the provision of essential financial services are required to come to work, especially if your employer does not have remote access work capabilities.

All staff involved in non-critical functions should work from home. Staff involved in critical functions, but whose providers do have remote access work capabilities are also encouraged to work from home.

Q13. Is Bank Negara Malaysia operating during the MCO period? How do I get in touch with their officers?

A: Yes we are, but in line with the requirements of the MCO, all front-line services including BNMLINK for walk- in visitors have been suspended from 18 March until 31 March.

In line with BNM’s Business Continuity Plan, all critical departments have implemented split operations, while non-critical departments are working from home to ensure no disruptions to BNM’s core functions throughout this period of containment. – The Star


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