Pay with STYLE – Trendy ways for a Cashless Payment experience

For the last month or so, you would have seen various PIN & PAY adverts, airing over the radio, newspapers or on the bank’s webpage, drawing Malaysians’ attention for the compulsory use of PIN-enabled credit/debit card from 1st July. This somehow rekindled my memory back to 2010, on my very first trip to Zhuhai, China. Curious to know?

While queuing at the payment counter, the man in front of me was having a heated argument with the cashier regarding his credit card. Despite keying in the pin correctly, the cashier wanted the man to show his identification who in turn declined in anger. At that moment, I had a puzzling mental discussion with myself – Why do we need to key in a pin number when all we need is a signature to make our purchases in Malaysia.

Well, after 7 years, Malaysia is finally following the security bandwagon. It was claimed that this Pin-enabled feature enhances the security, but do they really do so, as in the case above? Time will tell, but at this infancy stage, there’s some inconveniences that you will need to tolerate – walk over to the counter and make the authorisation instead of having the “luxury” of having the waitress present you with the slip to sign. When I was a teenager, I grew up watching the Amex/Mastercard tv adverts where the rich man would just sign the bills handed to him and then proudly walk off with a gorgeous lady after dinner. Of course, things have since improved with some merchants now equipped with portable & handheld terminals.

While most of you are still toying with this new improvement, technologies have brought these cashless/mobile payments to a next level. If you have lost the “luxurious” feeling of signing with the card, you can perhaps discover some trendiness (with ultimate conveniences) by engaging the following modern and stylish payment technologies:

1. Visa PayWave (alternative: Mastercard PayPass)

This Visa PayWave can be conveniently spotted at Parkson, McDonalds, Starbucks, Golden Screen Cinemas, etc. For a purchase up to RM250, just “wave” your credit card at the detector in front of the cashier, and off you go. No pin, no signature and yet, secure.

In Europe, PayWave has reached a new level of popularity that users can even use it for the toilet entry fee of €0.80. Locally, PayWave recorded one million transactions in November 2016, which is more than 10 times the transaction recorded a year ago.

More merchants are gearing towards this method with some offering enticing promotions. FUN TIP! McDonalds is currently offering a Visa PayWave promotion for all DriveThru customers. For PayWave customers, orders above RM20 entitles you to a set of McChicken burger and fries. Absolutely free! Well, that’s a smart campaign – this week alone, I have done it twice, and worst, for my 2nd drive, I deliberately ordered banana pies to enjoy the freebie.

2. Samsung Pay (alternative: Android Pay & Apple Pay)

Samsung Pay offers a simple and convenient payment experience by scanning and storing the credit card information into the selected Samsung smartphone. When a purchase is made, instead of searching through and opening your thick wallet or purse (for the sake of showing how rich you are), just tap your Samsung phone against the payment terminal, and verify with your fingerprint. Again, no pin, no signature and yet, secure. Samsung Pay uses proprietary Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and Near Field Communication (NFC) to make contactless and secure mobile payments. Check out this cool video on how Samsung Pay works.

3. AliPay Wallet & WeChat Pay

AliPay and WeChat Pay are dominating the mobile payment market in China, with a combined market share of nearly 90% and over 700 million user base. In China, you can pay from anything to everything with these two portals, whereas in Malaysia, 7-Eleven is the first merchant to accept AliPay Wallet which went into effect last month. Making a payment is as simple as allowing the merchant to scan the QR code from your phone, and your bank/credit card account will be balanced off accordingly.

With the extensive collaboration from China and Jack Ma, these payment portals will certainly be gaining popularity within a short period of time in Malaysia.

4. e-AngPow or e-Duit Raya

Last Chinese New Year, several banks (Maybank, Hong Leong and RHB) have introduced a NEW way to send Ang Pow with their e-AngPow Apps! Instead of physically and personally handing out the red-packet, you can now send an e-AngPow from your smartphone to the recipient’s mobile via sms, email or even facebook. For some added fun, you can also send it with a personalised greeting with fun and quirky stickers using the built-in photo-app. Watch this.

Cool? But my conventionalist mother told me that an Angpow carries a greater meaning than just the dollar-sign inside. Tell that to my kids, and their reactions are somewhat dumbfounding. Haha!

With the Hari Raya celebration around the corner, these apps will again become an instant hit. Click here to learn more about the ‘Pay Anyone’ feature.

Being an ardent fan of cashless transactions, these technologies are really convenient. It speeds up everything while still being convenient and accessible. It’s like literally having all on your fingertips (it even stores your ID and driving license). For travellers, you would only need to bring enough cash. Gone were the days that you need to visit the money changer (Ringgit really holds no value outside the country).

With more competition (Grab vs Uber), these merchants will provide better perks, e.g. loyalty programmes, cash rebates and discounted purchases, which will surely be beneficiary to end users like us. So wait no more, try one of these today!

FYI, the McD’s offer is only valid till 30th June.