PETALING JAYA: TNG Digital Sdn Bhd (TNGD) aims to be strategic with its growth plans after having made significant strides in the financial technology industry since its launch in 2017 as a pioneering cashless payments platform and leading e-wallet in Malaysia.
Now a well-established household name and with over 50% of the e-money market share in the country, TNGD counts more than 21 million users of its e-wallet services for their daily transactions. TNGD also has 1.7 million merchant touchpoints including DuitNow QR. The company’s inclusive payment solution has also empowered over 900,000 small and medium enterprise (SME) merchants.
A part of CIMB’s portfolio of digital businesses and ventures, TNGD’s offerings include payment services such as JomPAY, GOremit, cross-border payments, and Visa Card. Additionally, it also provides a comprehensive financial services ecosystem, encompassing insurance (GOprotect), investment products (GOinvest), transaction account (GO+), and loans (GOpinjam).
In particular, GO+, which allows users to earn daily returns on their TNG e-wallet credit through low-risk money market investments, has more than three million users so far.
Introduced in March 2021, GO+ is TNGD’s biggest product under the financial services vertical which posted a 50% increase in assets under management since July 2022 and with some three million users now.
While the company may have quite a number of achievements under its belt, TNGD is certainly not resting on its laurels.
TNGD chief executive officer Alan Ni told StarBiz, although TNGD is not a very big company, with some 100 people in its workforce, the company launches products at a speed that none can match.
“In the past three months alone, we collaborated with Bank Rakyat to launch JomPay. Additionally, we also partnered with Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB) to be the first and only eWallet agent to offer investments in ASNB unit trusts for Malaysians through the TNG e-wallet. Furthermore, our street parking coverage expanded to encompass all of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
Ni added that TNGD has several offerings in the pipeline scheduled to be launched in the next few months. This includes a credit facility, loyalty programme, gold and share trading. He said that while TNGD is quite big as a payments player in the e-wallet industry with more than 50% market share, it is just getting started in terms of digital financial services.
“Right now, payments still contribute the majority of our revenue (more than 50%) because the size is very big. We are processing billions of transactions a month. The financial services and other products are still in the early stages but the proportion is increasing. Going forward, we need more businesses from the financial services and merchant segment as these are the ones that will give us a bigger margin,” he said.
Ni said TNGD’s growth is doubling and tripling every year as the company continues to upgrade and expand its offering range.
“Initially, we started with toll and parking payments, and then we went into offline merchants. Moreover, we have entered the online sphere, collaborating with platforms like Lazada, Apple, and Google. Additionally, we have extended our reach into financial services. Step-by-step we are on track to achieve our vision to be the leading digital financial service provider,” he said.
Currently, TNGD experiences organic user growth, thus eliminating the need for substantial marketing expenditures to persuade people to join the platform.
“As more and more individuals join our platform, it will become more and more powerful. This is one of the advantages of the digital economy,” Ni explained.
Merchant onboarding is another crucial aspect of TNGD’s growth strategy as it is committed to supporting businesses, especially SMEs, given they play a vital role in employment.
“Merchant acquisition is hard work and we do so in two ways. One is door to door. Another way is where merchants sign up themselves through the app. It is usually harder at the beginning especially when it is a new area because they are not convinced. But once the users reach a certain percentage, the merchants will self onboard. We are also working with PayNet and the government to push merchant coverage to go beyond big cities, to reach second and third-tier cities,” he said.
In developing a product, convenience and value are two important factors TNGD takes into consideration. For this, the user interface and user experience (UI, UX) are given a lot of emphasis across the TNG e-wallet app.
“To win support for a particular offering, it needs to have a good convenience factor or be able to generate a lot of value for the user. GO+ for example allows users to invest in money market funds at their fingertips and also access the money instantly.
“On the value side, it’s quite straightforward. If you put your money in a traditional bank checking account, you might earn 0.2% interest, whereas if you put it in GO+, you earn 3.5%. Having a product that excels in one of these factors can make it a winner, and if it excels in both at the same time, it’s practically guaranteed to be a hit,” Ni said.
He stressed it is important for a product to address customers’ pain points much like GO+, which was created to address two main issues – earning returns on idle funds and investment inconvenience – that TNG e-wallet users were facing.
“When we launch products, it’s not just a matter of ticking a checkbox to say we did it. When we created GO+, people’s concerns were that the money in their TNG e-wallet did not earn them anything. Moreover, they also complained that investing their money is also not very convenient as they have to wait one or even three to four days to obtain the money when they needed it.
“Hence, GO+ addresses both of these concerns, as an affordable, low-risk, safe and secure investment that requires users to have a minimum balance of just RM10 in their e-wallet. Additionally, users can earn daily returns on their balance and cash out anytime they like,” Ni said.
Apart from paying attention to the app’s UI, UX, TNGD also invests heavily in its safety features. Ni said the company was the first to comply with the five mandatory cybersecurity measures set by Bank Negara last year, four months ahead of the deadline in June.
TNGD’s products are regulated by the Securities Commission and Bank Negara.
“The five mandatory cybersecurity measures are for banks and e-wallets are not required to comply. Nevertheless, we invested heavily on the tech side. We not only comply but also became the first to do so. We believe if safety is not handled well, our company is like a castle that is built on sand, which could collapse anytime,” he said.
He added security and convenience are two opposing ends of a spectrum and the key is in finding a balance between the two.
While the group may look increasingly like a digital bank, it does not intend to apply for a digital banking licence, at least not at the moment, as it is committed to maintaining a strong partnerships with banks while remaining an open platform.
“Once we apply for a digital bank licence other banks will see us as a competitor. This will cause us to lose the ability to form partnerships with other banks where each may have something unique to offer,” he said.