Visa Malaysia and I-Berhad today jointly announced a strategic partnership that will see the digitisation of payment systems across i-City. The collaboration is a first in terms of scale and a major milestone as the modernisation of electronic payment spans 72 acres of the property development.
Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia Haslina binti Abdul Hamid officiated and bore witness to the the signing of the Strategic Partnership agreement between the two parties at Red Carpet 2@centralWalk. The strategic partnership agreement underscores Visa’s support of i-City’s digitisation initiative through its digital capabilities and Visa as the preferred partner in the new payment solutions project which is in line with Malaysia’s National e-Commerce Strategic Roadmap.
The introduction of the digitalisation experience in Leisure Park @ i-City theme park is also aimed to improve the international tourist arrivals in line with Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s target of having 36 million tourist arrivals by the year 2020.
i-City embarked on its Smart City programme more than a decade ago when it became the first developer in Malaysia to invest in last mile infrastructure in order to provide high speed broadband to the development. Adopting the Cisco “Smart + Connected Community” platform, i-City was also the first development in the country to provide fibre to the home as part of utility infrastructure provided by developers.
In line with its Smart City vision, i-City was licensed by the Malaysian Multimedia and Communications Commission to provide connectivity services to the residents in i-City. With these fibre optics networks and high speed connectivity, i-City is a showcase of smart living in the country.
The current partnership with Visa is another dimension in i-City’s Smart City plan.
The Visa-i-City Smart City cashless payment project kicks off with Visa contactless payment acceptance at the car park (currently live) and theme park ticketing at Leisure Park@i-City, where consumers can pay with their cards using the mobile app “i-City Mobile” for an easier, faster and more secure way of payment. Every valid parking entry using Visa payWave will automatically have RM30 credited into the i-City Mobile app user’s account. Direct and online purchase of theme park tickets via the i-City Mobile app also allows customers to be eligible for special discounts as well as the accumulation of loyalty programme points.
The implementation of digital payment systems via the i-City Mobile app will take place in stages, with the first stage involving the theme parks and car park already in operation. Mobile app payments for the Central i-City shopping centre, retail outlets and Best Western i-City Hotel are targeted to be launched by next year.
Speaking at the event, Dato’ Eu Hong Chew, Deputy Chairman of I-Berhad, said the strategic partnership with Visa would add value and improve the quality of services offered to both the local and international community in i-City. This is also in line with i-Berhad’s strategic digitalisation programme, which is critical towards nurturing a smart community within the development of i-City, a Smart City.
Over the past decade, digital commerce has become more pervasive as the world becomes more connected. The use of digital payments will continue to rise, and is set to overtake conventional payment systems. While still in its infancy in Malaysia, there will be greater penetration of digital payments and e-wallets in the years to come.
In anticipation of greater adoption of digital payments and e-wallets in Malaysia, i-City has embarked on a three-year plan to weave digital payments into the fabric of its development.
“As a company that has set its sights on being at the forefront of creating innovative, tech-driven business hubs and communities, we naturally welcome ideas and embrace practical solutions that would strengthen the digital infrastructure of our properties and services,” said Visa Country Manager for Malaysia, Ng Kong Boon.
“Visa is excited to embark on this new chapter with i-City and implement contactless payments for the car park gantries and top-up kiosks at Leisure Park@i-City. Contactless payments have grown significantly in Malaysia, where we are seeing more than three million Visa contactless transactions a month, and strong double digit year-on-year growth.
“With the digitalisation of payment systems at i-City properties in the next couple of years, we believe it will further encourage the adoption of electronic payments in Malaysia. In addition, tourists who visit i-City will be able to use their Visa payment cards at the car park gantries, theme park, malls and hotel. This will reduce the hassle of them having to carry cash and provide even greater convenience, making their experience at i-City a memorable one.”
Dato’ Eu Hong Chew said he was optimistic and confident that the partnership with Visa will deliver better payment solutions which will translate to greater customer satisfaction and experience transacting on-site.
“Malaysians are forward-looking citizens of the world, with many already embracing contactless payment. As more and more technology play a greater role in our daily lives, there will be growing confidence and certain expectations of how we can and should pay relative to the security and convenience that is afforded to us,” he added.