10 reasons why mobile payment is trending in Brunei right now

by Haadi Bakar
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Step inside one of the shops at the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Shopping Complex in Bandar Seri Begawan and you’re bound to spot a BIBD QuickPay QR code on display at their counters. 

This QR Code lets BIBD account holders make payments with their mobile phone – scan the QR Code and the phone initiates the payment processes by asking for their password or biometric authentication and the amount needed to transfer.

This peer-to-peer mobile payment service is the latest mobile payment solution by BIBD under its digital banking initiative NEXGEN, designed to convert conventional cash transactions into fully digital online-based dealings in Brunei.

Even if you’re not on the mobile payment bandwagon yet, it’s inevitable that you’ll be part of the cashless future (Hint: contactless payments is also under way). Here’s why cash is out and paying with your phone is in:

1. One less thing to carry

Paper money is redundant in the digital age. With mobile payments, your phone becomes your wallet, but instead of carrying cash, you have your bank account with you, anytime and anywhere.

With only a few quick and easy steps, you can use your phone to make payments at the counter. You no longer have to withdraw and carry cash with you all the time. You can finally leave your wallet at home.

2. Saves time and travel cost

When you want to send money to another person, whether its your friend or a family member, you can do it instantly through the phone, regardless where you or the receiver is.

No more driving to the ATM to withdraw cash or meet the other person to initiate the transfer. Sending money to someone abroad? Remittance and money changers will also be a thing of the past. You can do it all at home, at work or on your vacation.

3. Safer than cash

We tend to be feel uneasy when we have hundreds of dollars stored in our wallets. When you lose them, you’re done.

Mobile payment is a much safer way of transacting funds from one account to another. Payment information during the transaction process is usually encrypted, and only you can approve them via passwords or biometric authentication.

And even if you lose your phone, you won’t lose your money in your bank account.

4. Manage your finances better

Consumers often don’t keep track of their spendings when using cash. Using an e-wallet gives them more control as every transactions are recorded automatically.

They can see what they’ve spent on and how much they’ve spent via your mobile banking app. This gives them a glimpse of their spending habits and encourage them to make better financial decisions.

5. Better deals and rewards

Banks and merchants are offering various incentives to consumers as a way to entice them to pay using their phone instead of cash. A lot of these rewards are pretty exciting like discounts, vouchers, loyalty programmes and lucky draws.

Customers can also rake in points with every transaction made using their bank’s mobile app. The accumulated points can be used for many things like rebates and special offers.

6. Going cashless is cool

Paying with cash is starting to look outdated. In South Korea and China, people use their phones to pay for everything from groceries to coffee to train rides, and they made scanning QR codes and waving their phones on contactless terminals seem right out of science fiction.

Your smartphone is the most advanced thing in your pocket so why not harness its full potential and use it as an e-wallet?

And here are reasons why mobile payments is better for businesses, especially startups:

7. Customer Convenience

For business owners, the biggest advantage of accepting mobile payments is that it makes it easier for their customers to pay them.

Paying via mobile speeds up the checkout processes. Instead of having customers pull out out their credit cards, cash, or write out a cheque, customers only need to whip out their phone, launch a mobile banking app, and scan a QR code at the counter.

As people are increasingly using their phones to pay for things over time, they are more likely to go to a store that accepts mobile payments than the ones that do not.

8. Cuts operation cost

With mobile payments, businesses don’t have to spend on expensive POS equipment. BIBD Quickpay only requires the merchants to place a QR code signage on their counters. It’s so easy to use and there’s minimal training required for cashiers to operate them.

Furthermore, businesses can cut down on paper and ink as receipts can be sent to customers electronically via email or text.

9. Improves Cash Flow

Businesses can keep track of their cash flow more efficiently when they receive payments electronically instead of cash. With mobile payments, every transactions are automatically recorded, and funds are immediately transfered to their accounts so business owners don’t have to make cash deposits at the bank.

Consequently, the bank will also have a clean record of the merchant’s transactions, which could help boost confidence in the businesses that wish to use other banking facilities in the future.

10. Access to Customer Data

Mobile payments can help businesses improve customer service by tracking valuable customer data.

Businesses can track how frequently their customers shop at their store, how much they spend and what their preferred payment method is. They can then use this information to target customers based on their shopping behaviour, patterns and demands, which ultimately will improve customer service and increase sales.

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