Touch ‘n Go, Ant Financial get nod for e-wallet services

TNG aims for secure digital payments ecosystem for its clients

PETALING JAYA: Touch ‘n Go Sdn Bhd (TNG) and partner Ant Financial Services Group have obtained Bank Negara’s approval to operate and offer mobile e-wallet services.

As it is, there are more than 18 million active Touch ‘n Go card users in the country.

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, which owns 52% in TNG, said in a statement yesterday that the new mobile e-wallet would facilitate payment in a cashless and cardless environment by leveraging on Ant Financial’s Alipay technology platform, the world’s leading digital financial services provider.

“The new mobile e-wallet will enable Malaysians to experience a secure, convenient and seamless payment ecosystem by using Quick Response (QR) codes to perform, among others, online shopping, bill payment, retail payment, as well as Peer-to-Peer fund transfers,” it said.

The mobile e-wallet will be operated by TNG Digital Sdn Bhd, the joint-venture company between TNG and Ant Financial. Ant Financial is an affiliate company of the Alibaba Group.

“TNG also expects its current users who are predominantly toll, transit and parking users to quickly sign on to enjoy the expanded services.”

TNG is also 28% and 20%-owned by MTD Equity Sdn Bhd and PLUS Expressways Bhd, respectively.

In the same statement, TNG chief executive officer Syahrunizam Samsudin said he was excited to obtain the central bank’s approval, adding that the mobile e-wallet service was in support of the Government’s aspiration to accelerate the creation of a robust and secure digital payments ecosystem.

“TNG is already the No. 1 player in micropayments and we see this offering as an add-on as we strengthen our value proposition, moving the country and our customers further into the realm of digital payments,” he said.

E-wallets are typically made up of an application that resides on one’s mobile device, which then can be swiped over a QR code at a merchant’s location for the payment of goods or services. Users will be able to top up the credit on their e-wallets via online banking facilities in Malaysia.

The TNG e-wallet will enable payments to be made electronically at even very small merchants such as night market vendors and tea stall operators.

Alipay currently supports over 450 million users in China alone via its Alipay payments system.

According to reports, Tencent’s WeChat Pay, together with Alipay and its overseas strategic mobile payment partners, claim a total of 600 million and 800 million users, respectively.

Combined, they account for over 66% of the third-party payment market in China, based on research by Analysys International.

Both companies have started laying the groundwork to introduce their services to other Asian markets like Hong Kong and Singapore.

The companies have extended their payment services to hundreds of thousands of merchants in South-East Asia and Europe, targeting outbound Chinese travellers and encouraging them to settle their overseas shopping bills with the apps.

Both companies have also focused on rolling out local e-wallet services to other Asia-Pacific markets.

These apps can be linked to users’ bank accounts or topped up manually.

In Hong Kong, Tencent launched its WeChat Wallet feature in January 2016, allowing users to link their credit cards to the wallet, send digital red packets to family and friends, and purchase tickets for local attractions and travel insurance.

Both Alipay and WeChat Pay rolled out mobile payment services for Hong Kong taxis, an industry that has long been dominated by cash, introducing a host of incentives including no administration fees to encourage taxi drivers to adopt the system.

Within a month, some 2,500 taxis out of the city’s fleet of 40,000 had signed up.

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