I was talking to the administrator of a famous restaurant in Bukit Bintang, K.L last evening about Mobile Money - Mobile ATM Startup, hoping to sign up it as merchant. They are impressed but raised a few points for ponder.
1. Awareness is not ample
According to the administrator, she never quite heard of Mobile Money. However, actually Mobile Money already invested on billboards and news coverage for several launchings. Thus perhaps, the administrator didn't quite pay attention to the surrondings and even care to read the newspaper.
Mobile Money should perform more Roadshow.
2. Taxation issue
According to her, it is not entirely a good idea to transact everything in electronic medium because that would subject them to taxation exposure. Cash is good for tax manipulation where it can be stored inside safety boxes.
3. Malaysia a bad place for credit card facilities
Since the restaurant is heavily frequented by foreigners, many of them even though wanted to pay with their Visa or Master card from overseas banks but couldn't because credit card companies actually bar transactions from going through. Thus, they have no choice but to use cash anyhow. Otherwise, the only credit card available to them is American Express - who doesn't worry about Malaysia's high credit card fraud issues.
4. Malaysian staff very lazy
Since Mobile Money doesn't have the requirement for customed-made device, where transaction is expected to include the cashier entering a lot of numbers into the phone, which is troublesome according to her that it will be very slow and mistake prone. She was asking for a customized device.
5. Security raises concern
According to her, without dedicated devices, many Mobile Money end-users might not want to expose their handphone numbers to the cashier fearing that phantom calls would go up. Well, in this case they will have to use e-cash for the payment. However, it is also very hard to convince end-users with regards to the security of e-cash because Malaysia is a place where technology appreciation is not that great compared to Singapore. Thus, she still feels that the latest RFID credit card model (MBF Cards) is the best solutions.
Thus, to sign up merchant for Mobile Money is not easy too.This is especially taxing when it comes to articulate people. Nevertheless, signing up non-techie person is equally hard because the latter is going to disturb you all the time whenever concerns are met. So, how to close the deal ?
I guess I will have to talk to them a couple of time more and perhaps perform a simulation.
However, what I know for sure is that these people will start to relate to Mobile Money's advertisements and billboards after this.
There is another electronic player emerged into the market; "Mr. Kiosk in Town". However, Mr. Kiosk cannot be considered as mobile payment provider because the platform is based on customized-device, pretty much the like of E-Pay.
Sapura M-Pay has yet to make another launching.
Mobile Money should invest on lifestyle activities in order to get the ball rolling. It is normal for people to compare new services with the "orang lama" like E-Pay and credit cards because of the theory of resistance.
Thus, all these are of course expected and under the sandbox of the milestone. The only problem is how far fetched this could be.
Perhaps, where it matter most now is electronic payment facilities for petrol station in Malaysia which saw recent controvesy of credit card facilities being barred by the merchants(petrol stations) citing profit margin problems. Mobile money should take advantage of this, but first they have to produce white paper on the safety of using handphone inside petrol stations.
This niche marketing getting more excited.