Thursday, June 25, 2009

Silent attack from DiGi?

DIGI.COM Bhd, the country's third largest mobile operator, is on the attacking mode again, this time, quietly (not anymore i guess).

The company has tied up with Maybank, the country's largest lender, to attract more non-DiGi users to switch over to DiGi -- by "giving" RM35 to those who ported.

It was done rather "quietly", to avoid attention or reaction from rivals. So far, the announcement is only made on maybank2u website, and could not be found on the DiGi's website (either that, or it is not prominently displayed)

The "RM35 giveaway" is available for both prepaid and postpaid users.

I believe the campaign is quite new, as i did not notice the advertisement on maybank2u website a few days back.

We know that public's response to MNP is rather lukewarm, despite all the awareness campaigns. Will campaigns like DiGi's encourage people to switch over? We will know in November/ December when DiGi announces their Q3 results.

How will other telco react? Sit and do nothing? Offer similar packages to attract rival's customers? Or, to come up with a campaign that encourage their customer to stay loyal?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Malaysian Telcos compete in the mobile financial services arena?

Celcom (Malaysia) Bhd recently launched its mobile financial services.

The service, dubbed AirCash, allows its customers to remit money to Indonesia, it also allow customers to send airtime to a fellow Celcom prepaid user.

Of course, Maxis and DiGi have already introduced similar service. Let's look at what Maxis and DiGi are offering.

DiGi.Com Bhd's DiGiREMIT:

- Can send money to Indonesia, Philippines and Bangladesh, directly into the bank account.

- Each transaction, maximum of RM5,000.

- Maximum amount for virtual wallet is RM5,000.

- Charges: direct credit/ cheque to bank (RM8.00 per transaction), cash pickup over the counter (RM15.00), each SMS cost 50 sen.

- Outlets that supports such services, based on DiGi's website on June 10, less than 55. However, transaction (such as top up) can be done via GIRO transfer.

Maxis Communications Bhd's M-Money:

- Can send money to Indonesia (selected banks in Indonesia) and Philippines (Globe GCash user).

- Can also send money to fellow Maxis user.

- Maximum amount on virtual wallet, and per transaction, is RM1,500.

- Charges: Transaction to Philippines and Indonesia (RM5). Each Cash-in and Cash-out transaction (at Cash Merchants such as Dropzones) cost 80 sen. Cash-in/out at HSBC (80 sen), at Maybank (50 sen).

- Can be used to purchase goods and services, such as, movie tickets at TGV, Domino's Pizza, as well as buying items from

- Outlets that support the services: Maxis Centers, Maybank, HSBC, and Dropzone outlets in Bdr Utama, Puchong and Sunway.

Celcom's AirCash

- Can send money to Indonesia (XL user).

- Can also send money to fellow AirCash user, or Celcom prepaid user.

- Charges: Cash-in (RM1 at dealer, Free at branches). Cash-out (RM3). AirCash Transfer to overseas (RM5). AirCash Transfer to local user (20 sen).

- SOON: can use AirCash to purchase goods and services.

- Services is available at 200 outlets now. Plans to make the service available at 2,000 outlets by year end.

Looking at how these telcos compete on this mobile financial services area, it appears each of them has its own strength. DiGi offers the mobile remittance to 3 countries and has a "bigger" virtual wallet, allowing users to send more money in one transaction. However, DiGi charges more for each transaction.

Currently, Maxis's M-Money service can be used to purchase goods and services, while Celcom only plans to introduce such service at a later stage. M-Money can be used to remit money to Indonesia banks and GCash users in Philippines, while AirCash users can only remit money to XL users.

However, Celcom currently stands out among the rest in terms of outlets for cash-in and cash-out.

In terms of how Maxis and Celcom charges its users for the services, it appears that Maxis is charging slightly less (can't be too sure about this yet, have to read the fine prints). However, I doubt it will be the main factor that a user look at when deciding which service (DiGiREMIT, AirCash or M-Money) to sign up.


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