Imagine leaving your wallet behind and getting through the day with just your smartphone. Well, that day is coming sooner than we thought with MCash.
By Ariel Chew
With almost a 150% mobile penetration rate in Malaysia, more retailers are seeing the trend moving towards mobile payments and digital wallets, both in-store and online.
Digital wallets basically turn your smartphone into a contactless payment card. Some brands, such as Starbucks, have adopted the digital wallet technology into its app, allowing customers to pay for their coffee using their mobile phones.
Though digital wallets have been around for a while, fintech start-up MCash has taken it up a notch further.
Licensed by Malaysian Central Bank’s eMoney, MCash allows users to pay for a plethora of goods, services and bills via the MCash app available from the Apple AppStore and Google Play.
Users can reload the MCash value (RM1 = 1MCash) either by online bank transfer or credit card payment. To date, MCash has a growing number of merchants including Giant, AEON, Parkson and yes, Starbucks too.
Soon, you can comfortably leave your wallet behind and just make do with your smartphone to get through the day.
In an exclusive email interview, MCash founders Aaron Lee and Roy Ng shared with us how they plan to bring their vision – seeing MCash adopted by the masses as the de facto digital wallet and replacing the need for physical currency – to fruition.
Smart Investor (SI): What inspired you to launch MCash?
MCash (MC): We were inspired by the successes of AliPay, WeChat Wallet and BitCoin adoption in China and around the world.
In an era where transactions are the focus and the dis-intermediation taking place in the banking and finance sector, the retailers and consumers will stand to benefit in a significant way.
As a Malaysian Technopreneur, I believe the time is right to create our home grown “Made In Malaysia” digital currency such as MCash as the key driver for the digital economy.
SI: Can you share your distribution strategy? Who is your target market and what has been your approach to reach them?
MC: Our initial focus are the retail operators and our advantage is that we have a ready and proven O2O (OFFline to ONline) commerce framework and methodology to integrate their business into the cashless and big data environment.
The digital currency of MCash is currently being used by mobile operators e.g., Maxis, Celcom and Digi and Loob Holdings’ retail chain (formerly the franchise owner of “Chatime”).
MCash is also currently in talks with convenience stores across the country and F&B operators.
SI: There are a number of mobile money providers and financial institutions in this space. What makes MCash stand out from the rest?
MC: The MCash management team comprises entrepreneurs (zero to hero) with proven track record in tech, finance and e-commerce.
MCash is also a licensed e-money operator by Bank Negara Malaysia and our vision is to have a complete eco-system for the retailers and consumers in relation to the transactions made.
SI: What is the typical use case for MCash and how will it benefit SMEs/businesses?
MC: We are an enabler, providing SMEs with the capability to digitise their retail traffic by capturing customer information, re-target them via digital marketing and resolving the cost of handling physical cash e.g., avoid logistics and reduce insurance for security.
This means lower cost and higher revenue – a combination of deliverables which no SMEs can refuse (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Passing on the savings to the masses
There is also a zero start-cost with absolutely no point of sales (POS) integration needed. All you need is a smartphone to receive payment.
SI: What are your plans for MCash moving forward?
MC: As part of building the eco-system, the digital wallet platform would also offer microfinance services i.e., microcredit and lending to SMEs. In addition, MCash shall also be expanding geographically into countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore.