|By||http://e27.cohttp://e27.sg/2012/10/09/molcube-mobile-payment-startup-gets-nod-from-malaysias-bank-negara/||| Oct 9, 2012 | Corporations|
The payments industry is one such industry that is currently undergoing a disrupt. For instance, Square, which processes payments through smartphone-based terminals possible, is currently valued at over US$3 billion. Earlier in August, popular coffee brand Starbucks announced a partnership with Square. With nearly 7,000 Starbucks stores soon accepting Square, it is no wonder the company has such a high valuation.
In Southeast Asia, Malaysia-based MOLCube also aims to disrupt the mobile payment space.
MOLCube Sdn Bhd is a mobile payment startup that allows small and medium businesses to accept credit and debit card payments using an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android or Windows Phone device. A BlackBerry version is also in the works. The company will roll out its technology to the eight countries that MOL already operates in, with a target to be in 12 countries by the end of this year. MOLCube aims to have 50,000 merchants on board by the end of next year.
MOLCube is formed under the joint venture between MOL AccessPortal and Soft Space,with the former holding 65% stake of the company.
One in three companies in the world with Europay Mastercard Visa certification
According to Digitialnewsasia, MOLCube is quite simple. First, a merchant has to purchase a card-reader (priced under US$100) and plug it into a compatible device. Payments can then be processed from this device, and the buyers can also sign-off on their payments using handwriting recognition.
The mobile technology, developed by Soft Space earlier this year, recently received an EMV2 (Europay Mastercard Visa) certification, making it one of only three companies in the world to have done so. On an annual basis, MOLCube expect to process RM1.5 billion (US$ 490 million) worth of transactions. With the various plans to roll out its services to other countries, MOLCube expects its payment volume to double to RM3 billion (US$980 million) by the end of next year and RM6 billion (US$ 2 billion) by 2014.
MOLCube receives the green light from Bank Negara (Malaysia’s central bank and financial services regulator)
Chang Chew Soon, CTO of MOLCube and CEO of Soft Space, also revealed to Digitalnewsasia that they have received a lot of inquiries, particularly because they do not compete with banks, and instead license the technology to all the payment players in the country. He claimed that Soft Space has likewise received inquiries from North America, the Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Taiwan. They were also called in for a meeting by Bank Negara, Malaysia’s central bank and financial services regulator.
“Bank Negara grilled us for two and a half hours,” Chang said. “I told them my vision was very simple,” he added, and used the same example above. “I hope that one day even the makcik selling nasi lemak by the roadside will be able to accept credit card payments.”
After the meeting, Bank Negara gave MOLCube the green light, and was also asked to work with MyClear (Malaysian Electronic Clearing Corporation Sdn Bhd), the fully-owned subsidiary of Bank Negara that offers a full suite of e-payment solutions.
Acquisition offer from a foreign company
Prior to the joint venture formation of MOLCube, Soft Space was also approached by a foreign company, wanting to acquire Soft Space and its technology, but Chang rebuffed the offer. He told Digitalnewsasia that his main aim was to help local payment companies raise a wall so that foreign companies cannot come in and invade the Malaysia market.
Soft Space is not alone in the mobile payment space. Swiff, developed by Singapore-based SCCP Payment Services (SCCP), launched earlier in Singapore and Malaysia. PayPal also has plans to launch its own service, known as Paypal Here, in Singapore later this year.