Digi has tied up with Valyou to launch vcash, a mobile payment application that aims to offer Malaysians a more convenient way to pay, send, request and store money in their smartphones. The deal marks Digi's entry into the FinTech space. Valyou is an e-money issuer authorised by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and is available for all Malaysians on the Google Play Store or Apple App store without any charge.
This comes amid times when Malaysia tries to move towards becoming a cashless society, spurred by BNM’s strategic measures to accelerate the country’s migration to e-payments.
In a statement to A+M, Digi's spokesperson said, users may find vcash as their go-to e-wallet that offers a secure and fast payment service using QR codes. Beyond payments, vcash also enables funds transfers between vcash users and also to non-vcash users, facilitates cash deposits and withdrawals at any time, and purchase of items from the in-app vcash store. Users do not have to pay transaction fees for using any of the features above.
"With vcash, consumers can store, send, request and withdraw up to RM5,000 depending on their account tier – basic, enhanced or premium. Enhanced and rremium tiers require verification – a Photo ID and face-to-face verification respectively," Digi said.
The company also announced its nationwide merchant line-up with notable brands such as Astro Go Shop, Ezbuy, Fish & Co., Life Juice, Major Drop, Manhattan Fish Market, Mydin, Nice Catch, NY Steak Shack, RedTick, Sam’s Groceria, TAPAK, The Lorry, Tony Roma’s and TR Fire Grill - where Malaysians can use vcash to pay for purchases. vcash, which is now available at 500 physical touchpoints nationwide, is expected to reach 2000 touchpoints by year-end.
In addition, vcash will also be made available as a payment option for merchants under MOLPay and iPay88’s online payment gateway networks, enabling consumers to transact using vcash with thousands of merchants with online shop fronts nationwide.
“vcash is set to enable more Malaysians, both merchants and consumers, to transact in a cashless environment with its low barrier to adoption, namely by allowing users to overcome the risks of using cash, hassle of opening a bank account and approval processes related to debit and credit cards, or using device-specific payment solutions that require the purchase of high-end devices,” said Praveen Rajan (pictured standing, fifth from left), Digi’s chief digital officer.
Lower business costs for merchants
Digi said its vcash will "significantly" lower costs for merchants, with lower MDR compared to other payment methods, and no charges will made on annual or installation fees. It also serves to reduce risks of handling physical cash with settlements of one to two business days for cash amounts to be reflected in the merchant’s bank accounts.
"For businesses, a cashless environment eliminates costs and risks of storing cash and payment bottlenecks in the supply chain. With vcash, businesses reap the immediate benefit of knowing their customers better. With access to analytics, they have a helicopter view of businesss, enabling them to leverage customers’ spending behaviour, track returning customers and competitor analysis," Digi's spokesperson said.
Rajan said there is currently more than RM85.5 billion cash in circulation, and an early aspiration for vcash will be how much of cash-based transactions it can convert to digital.
"Our aim is to offer Malaysian consumers and merchants a simpler, more elegant, more progressive, risk-free payment solution. There is a cost to using physical cash, and in a study by BNM, total costs incurred by the banking industry, the business community and BNM in cash handling and management was estimated at around RM4.8 billion in 2012," he added.
For adoption to happen, Rajan added, there is a need to be a big education drive for users and businesses on the merits of going cashless, and that is a task for all existing players. "We need to build the mobile payments category together for this shift to happen, and Digi is excited to play a leading role in driving this change,” Rajan said.
In summary, vcash is a customisable solution that caters to all business types and sizes. It can work with zero integration, in which case vcash is treated as a cash transaction and a replacement of physical cash, or it can be fully integrated into a merchant’s POS system. This allows for vcash transactions to be customised according to the merchant’s needs.