Surge in online business from lockdown.
With the rapid growth in online transactions, the iServe group sees a ‘remarkable increase’ in the usage of its products that include Zapp eWallet, Pay4U and UPayMe.
“Our online offerings are doing very well,’’ said iServe chief marketing officer Rosalie Ng.
Many small retailers who used to accept cash only are now turning to alternatives like mobile wallet, as people mostly avoid cash, considered a likely point of transmission for the virus.
Zapp eWallet, which has a chat function, is seeing a ‘significant increase’ in new downloads, and a spike in sales volume.
UPayMe, which allows customers to pay anytime from anywhere, is also rapidly gaining popularity among businesses that are, almost overnight, switching to contactless terminals.
Newly launched Pay4U that saw a lot of traction lately, is expected to draw more interest as it enables customers to pay their monthly car or housing loans, credit card balances and even PTPTN loans.
Pay4U also allows businesses to pay for designated operating expenses like rentals, salaries, invoices and utility bills.
“Our team has aggressive plans to increase the adoption of these new products, through heightened promotions,’’ said Ng. “Tapping on these new opportunities, we see that consumers working from home will now have more exposure to the digital medium.’’
The adoption curve for these new digital modes will be shorter, as many businesses that do not have an e-commerce platform, have suffered a halt in sales and desire to quickly regain some market share.
How has this sudden outbreak impacted the group’s operations?
“We have developed a greater sensitivity towards numbers, trends and market feedback which we evaluate on a monthly basis,’’ said Ng.
Based on the information received, the group does continuous adjustments to enhance the way it deals with unforeseen circumstances, as well as help its merchants and clients overcome the present challenges.
“Within these rapid changes resulting from the pandemic, we need to refocus and apply our skill sets in the new context; we must be agile and react fast to changing demands,” said Ng.
Look at how, almost overnight, fashion giants like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Burberry are putting their ‘fashion muscle’ behind the production of face masks and protective gear against the virus.
With a staff strength of 500, and a customer base exceeding one million, the iServe group has been profitable since its first day of business.
“We have been operating for 19 years, and are growing stronger each day,’’ said Ng.
Customers that are mainly in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor, include those in retail ticketing services, e-commerce, reloads, payment gateway, e-wallet, virtual terminal or payment solutions, repayment aid, as well as lending and retail outlets.
The group has 30,000 merchants which it plans to grow further.
The iServe team, which started in 2001 with only three persons, was motivated by the new digital landscape and fast growing fintech industry in Malaysia.
Armed with foresight and hard work, ‘we were very determined to develop our own technology team,’ said Ng.
Today, a 100-man IT team backs the front and back ends of the business.
The sky is the limit, as there is always ‘‘a silver lining to everything, if one looks hard enough,’’ said Ng.
Yap Leng Kuen had a respected career as a senior business editor and widely read columnist speaking plainly, for the leading local newspaper. She continues to write Plain Speaking for The Star Online. I am delighted to share her view points and insights, here.