PHOTO - (from left) Datuk Vincent Lee, the executive chairman of Feotus International; Chang Chew Soon, founder of Soft Space International; Ganesh Kumar Bangah, MOL Global's Group CEO; and Tan Sri Dato' Seri Vincent Tan, the founder of Berjaya.
Two Malaysian online payment firms MOL AccessPortal, a subsidiary of MOL Group, and Soft Space Internal have formed a joint venture, MOLCube, which will allow small and medium businesses in Malaysia to accept credit and debit card payments using mobile devices.
Speaking on 5 October 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Soft Space International founder Chang Chew Soon said the idea to develop the smart chip mobile reader solution was inspired by a family business incident, which is designed to help businesses of all sizes. "As well as large corporations, small and medium businesses, even roadside food or pasar malam [night market] sellers in Malaysia can use this solution to take payments with their mobile devices: this is another step towards a cashless society in Malaysia."
Chang said one strong motivation was to help cut down physical fraud as the security protocols used are the same as when credit card details are used at a shop or online. "The use of technology in every day business is also to help push the nation to becoming a developed digital economy by 2020."
"Soft Space is a payment platform that makes it possible for anyone to accept card payments anywhere, anytime, securely," he said. "The platform is available for businesses and individuals. It also comes with a free application and a mini chip card reader. Our platform is fully EMV certified and approved, yet simply convenient and secure to use, empowering all businesses and individuals to accept multiple forms of card payments."
The joint venture company will also benefit from Soft Space's product portfolio, Research and Development (R&D) and MOL's leading e-payment strength and international market-driven capabilities, he said during the signing, which was witnessed by Tan Sri Dato' Seri Vincent Tan, the founder of Berjaya and Datuk Vincent Lee, the executive chairman of Feotus International.
MOL Group chief executive officer Ganesh Kumar Bangah said that under the agreement, the new joint venture MOLCube would act as a Third Party Acquirer (TPA) to help more merchants to accept cashless transactions using the mobile phone, tablets and other such IP-Based smart devices using Soft Space's EMV Level 2 compliant technology.
"Softspace is one of three companies in the world that has been certified by EMVCo to perform credit and debit card processing on smart devices with such a certification," said Bangah, adding that the move was significant not only for Malaysia but also for the region.
Mobile payment or M-payment is a service which is continually gaining popularity as there are huge number of mobile phone users and bank card holders. Currently, in Malaysia, Bank Negara, the central bank is encouraging the growth of e-payments, through various methods.
Regional milestone in mobile payments sector
Bangah added that the formation of the joint venture marks a significant milestone in the mobile payments industry not only in Malaysia but also for the region. The number of mobile payment subscribers worldwide was nearly two billion users in 2011. The total value of mobile payment market is expected to cross US$500 billion by 2014. "Asia is expected to become one the most important market, accounting for more than 60 percent of the total market share and 80 percent of mobile payment users."
"[This] announcement represents another important milestone in growing our product range which has grown from our MOLReloads infrastructure to MOLPoints micropayment system to our MOLPay e-commerce payment system," he said. "We will endeavour to further grow the MOLCube business just like our other businesses to become regional and global businesses quickly. We are presently in eight countries worldwide and are intending to grow to 12 countries by the end of the year. All these countries will be target markets for the expansion of MOLCube. As a start, we will be targeting the associated companies within the Berjaya Group as the initial merchants for this product," he said.
The MOLCube chip card reader can be integrated to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It will also be compatible with Android and Windows Devices and will be launched in the current quarter.
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