Malaysia’s pioneer e-wallet vcash is dead

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One of Malaysia’s first e-wallets is going by way of the dodo. Digi announced today via SMS to customers that it is shutting its e-wallet vcash on 30 November 2019 and have initiated a refund process for existing users.

[UPDATED 2 Nov] with additional info.

vcash is one of 42 e-money licensees in Malaysia and was one of the very first e-wallets to be introduced in Malaysia. 

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Developed by Digi-X, Digi’s dedicated innovation arm, vcash was a simple, basic app that was rolled out quietly in 2017. It was unique too, allowing users to withdraw money into a Maybank account or receive it as cash at a Digi Store.

At launch, vcash boasted merchants like Astro Go Shop, Mydin, and Tony Roma’s, to name a few, with 500 physical touch-points nationwide.

Being the first mover doesn’t a success make, apparently. Even having a seven-month head start against GrabPay as well as other players did not guarantee adoption and growth of the platform.

Other competitors like Boost and Touch ’n Go eWallet have since taken leadership positions in the nascent space. 

Granted, the e-wallet space is a complex, long-term game. It is highly dependent on consumer behaviour and overall mobile penetration, albeit the big shift from the current predominantly cash-based society. 

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Considering we’re a highly banked nation; well-served by credit and debit cards, it’s only a matter of time before we enter a truly cashless era.

That said, it will take time, money and resources for e-wallet providers to push for adoption. And this adoption needs to be two-prong: by consumers and by merchants, en masse. 

The biggest e-wallet to date is GrabPay, with Touch ’n Go eWallet nipping at its heels with 5 million users. Still pale by comparison to the 30+ million strong population. 

In the case of vcash, the journey ends here. It’s going away quietly, almost the same manner it entered the scene. Why did it fail? Why is it throwing in the towel? We may never know for sure. Perhaps it needed a big bang introduction. But perhaps like in the comic books—a superhero or a villain never really dies forever. Since vcash still holds an e-money license, perhaps the service will evolve into something else and return in a new, better form in the future. 

Alas, all is not lost. An alternative, Digi has Valyou, an existing e-money service, part of Telenor Group’s financial business unit, that enables users to perform remittance, peer-to-peer transfers, prepaid top-ups and bill payments.

If you’re an existing customer and still have balance in your vcash e-wallet, you can request for a refund by filling up this form. A One Time Pin (OTP) will be sent to your registered mobile number for verification.

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VIA SoyaCincau | Header image: vcash


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