AS the nation progresses in making more cashless transactions, Touch ‘n Go carries its business a notch higher by venturing into urban mobility.
The electronic payment system company’s chief executive officer Syahrunizam Samsudin said urban mobility can be seen as a connection that links users to various public and commercial infrastructure through one form factor.
With 16.2 million Touch ‘n Go cards already in circulation, Syahrunizam said the company is best positioned to spearhead the strengthening of that connection, and reducing the use of physical money. The use of the cards has been prevalent in highways, transit routes and selected retailers, but the company is looking at increasing it to more venues which consumers can access.
“We intend to promote the use of Touch ‘n Go more actively in urban centres, and are working with various parties to adopt the system on top of those which we are already working with,” said Syahrunizam.
Among the system’s new partners are food trucks and mamak cafes.
“We want to focus on these venues as they are uniquely Malaysian locations and everybody goes there out of habit and convenience; this will ease reload access for them.
“We are going to bank more on merchants of this sort because accessibility should not only apply to mall grounds, but also more inclusively at a community level,” Syahrunizam stressed.
“It’s all about making it easier for users, the choices are skewed to the needs of the mass audience, rather than a specific segment.”
According to latest records, 53% of Malaysians still reload at toll plazas, followed by 24% at petrol stations, while the remaining spreads across 9,000 reload points.
“The bulk of customers are still toll-centric, and changing this mindset is something we are working on,” added Syahrunizam.
Aside from that, the company visits schools to communicate the benefits of using Touch ‘n Go, and so far, 10 schools have already installed the systems at their canteens.
“Children are the future customers. By engaging them young, we will know how to better cater to their usage in the future,” said Syahrunizam.
He noted that the company is also in talks with a number of hospitals and higher learning institutions to use Touch ‘n Go.
With mobile apps and wearable devices becoming more conventional, cards are no longer the only way to achieve urban mobility.
Syahrunizam highlighted the importance of bringing new elements into play in order to stay relevant for users.
“Touch ‘n Go can exist on many different devices and they will appeal to different markets; it depends on who you are as an urban dweller,” he explained.
He said the brand has its own Time Traveller watch, launched earlier in June, specifically to cater to people who walk, take the bus or use trains.
“We are also looking to launch an app by the end of the year; it’s in its testing stages now pending approval.”
Without divulging too much, he said some of the things users can look forward to are the freedom to reload online, loyalty advanta-ges and merchant benefits.”
To further gauge insights into customers’ needs, Syahrunizam said he and his team have made it their monthly mission to do on-ground market research.
“One of the things I like to do is randomly head outside and ask customers their opinion of our product.
“We don’t venture out as corporates but as customers, and we have obtained feedback that were so earnest that it has really helped us in coming out with new solutions,” Syahrunizam said.
Calling Touch ‘n Go a consumer-oriented brand, he said the minute they stop connec-ting with consumers is when the system will be left behind.
“Our clear focus is on our customers, and it is only through them that we can will build our future.”
In the long run, Touch ‘n Go also aims to continue working with more parking operators and building owners that would support their urban mobility agenda.
However, this will require collaborative efforts between different bodies to make the system seamless.
“Sometimes we can work with up to three parties; building owners, parking operators and even a third party,” said Syahrunizam, adding that this is why a 10% charge is imposed on the Touch ‘n Go transactions at certain parking locations.
“The cost is really about all involved parties having to invest in the facility and the ongoing maintenance costs.”
As Touch ‘n Go casts a wider net, its new service centre and concept store in Nu Sentral is also poised to be on board with its goals to get customers accustomed to new experiences.
Unlike the regular counter services, Syahrunizam said the outlet attends specifically to customers’ needs.
“We are also going to gradually upgrade all other Touch ‘n Go touchpoints to adopt a similar concept. Perhaps we will even introduce new ideas, like adding a cafe; the whole idea is to be closer to our customers.”
In the long run, Touch ‘n Go is really about financial inclusiveness.
“This is the way it should be, it’s all about widespread use,” he concluded.