> Banking group claims toll highway operator’s launch of its own Radio Frequency Identification system violates their joint venture agreement in relation to Touch ‘N Go

PETALING JAYA: CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and its wholly owned subsidiary CIMB SI 1 Sdn Bhd have filed arbitration proceedings against PLUS Malaysia Bhd for alleged breach of obligations under their joint venture agreement (JVA) signed 20 years ago.

CIMB and CIMB SI 1 claimed that PLUS’ commencement and launch of its own Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system had violated the JVA in relation to Touch ‘N Go Sdn Bhd. Touch ‘N Go’s shareholders are CIMB, MTD Equity Sdn Bhd and PLUS.

Hence, CIMB and CIMB SI 1 are seeking an injunction to restrain PLUS from engaging in further business of the PLUS RFID system together with damages, interests and costs, according to the banking group’s filing with the stock exchange today.

The notice of arbitration on PLUS was filed and served today by arbitration on PLUS.

Last month, PLUS announced that it will be launching a public pilot for its PLUS RFID open payment system beginning Dec 15. PLUS RFID features an open payment system, which offers flexibility and freedom for Malaysian drivers to pay toll via credit and debit cards.

PLUS said it is working with other highway concessionaires and e-wallet payment providers to enable integration of the PLUS RFID open payment system with other highways and e-wallet payment providers across the country.

Meanwhile, Touch ‘n Go and key highway concessionaires are also preparing to kick-start the rollout of its RFID technology for highway users.

The RFID system uses a radio frequency chip embedded on a sticker that is fixed to the vehicle. The sticker, which is unique to each vehicle, will be linked to the Touch ‘n Go eWallet, allowing users to monitor their balance and access online reload options via online banking and debit/credit cards. The RFID sticker will eventually replace the current SmartTAG device.

Touch ‘n Go’s RFID pilot testing for public started on Sept 3 and is targeted to be launched in January 2019.

CIMB’s share price fell 9 sen or 1.6% to close at RM5.71 today on 4.33 million shares done.