Digi launches mass market eWallet in Malaysia

Digi launches vcash, an e-Wallet that works with any bank, smartphone or telco. Why this could be Malaysia’s most convenient and inclusive mobile payment and financial service platform:

Written: Nov 2017

Digi yesterday launched its flagship e-Wallet – vcash – offering Malaysians a mobile payment app that is the easiest, most convenient way to pay, send, request and store money in their smartphones in the country.

Fintech and payments a natural step for Digi

According to Digi’s Chief Digital Officer Praveen Rajan (below), the company’s move into fintech is a natural progression of its connectivity business, building on the credibility of its 22 year-old brand with its solid 11.9 million customer base, the affinity Digi has with SMEs who trust them to power their next phase of growth, and key learnings drawn from Telenor Group’s businesses who have existing mobile payments and banking operations.

“This is a good expression of Digi and Telenor building on their financial assets in Malaysia. Valyou, the result of Telenor acquiring international remittance company Prabhu in 2015, focuses strongly on the remittance business, while Digi ‘s vcash concentrates on a mass market mobile payments offering,” Praveen said.

There is currently more than RM85.5 billion cash in circulation. An early aspiration for vcash will be how much of current cash-based transactions Digi can convert to digital. The 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 Malaysia’s Central Bank (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.

Said Praveen, “For adoption to happen, there needs to be a big education drive for users and businesses on the merits of going cashless. We need to build the mobile payments category for this shift to happen, and Digi is excited to play a leading role in driving this change in Malaysia.”

Easiest e-Wallet in Malaysia that works with any bank, any telco and any smartphone

Vcash will help Malaysians go cashless by allowing them to overcome the risks of using cash, hassle of opening bank accounts and approval processes for debit and credit cards, or using device-specific payment solutions that require you to purchase high-end devices. Beyond payments, vcash also lets you to transfer funds to virtually anyone, facilitate cash deposits and withdrawals at any time, and purchase of items from the in-app vcash store.

On the tech front, the app is proudly developed in-house by the software engineering team in Digi-X. Fast-forward from the first written code back in March, the latest version of vcash is very secured by SSL encryption and is PCIDSS compliant.

Low barrier of entry for merchants to drive wide adoption

The company today 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, TR Fire Grill, and more, where Malaysians can use vcash to pay for purchases. To date, vcash is available at 500 physical touchpoints nationwide, with aspirations to grow these touchpoints to 2000 by year-end.

For businesses, a cashless environment eliminates costs and risks of storing cash and payment bottlenecks in the supply chain. All this at a significantly lower cost with lower MDR compared to other payment methods, no annual or installation fees, and no special equipment or hardware.

Businesses reap the immediate benefit of knowing their customers better. With access to analytics, they have a helicopter view of their businesss, enabling them to leverage customers’ spending behaviour, track returning customers and competitor analysis. Further, vcash removes the hassle and risks of handling physical cash with fast settlements of 1-2 business days for cash amounts to be reflected in the merchant’s bank accounts.

Vcash is a customisable solution that suits 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, which allows for vcash transactions to be customised according to the merchant’s needs. These factors make vcash particularly attractive to merchants, big and small, including your neighbourhood nasi lemak seller or your favourite mom-and-pop mini mart.

Vcash is now available at 500 physical touchpoints across Malaysia, with aspirations to grow these touchpoints to 2000. This in addition to the twenty thousand online merchants who could potentially use vcash as a payment option via Digi’s partnership with online payment gateways MOLPay and iPay88.

Vcash is a solution offered by Digi in partnership with Valyou Sdn Bhd, a BNM accredited payments provider and is now available for all Malaysians on the Google Play Store or Apple App store for free.