Boost introduces The Digitalisation Program to help merchants kick-start their digital journey

E-wallet player, Boost has introduced its next initiative, The Digitalisation Program. This comes in lieu of the success of its previous campaign, Local Heroes.

The new initiative is part of the SME Digitalisation Grant by MDEC, in partnership with Celcom who is an official Technology Solutions Provider (TSP) to help merchants kickstart their digital journey to adapt to the new norm, reach new customers online and be future-proof.

The programme requires a small amount of investment ranging from RM3, 000 to RM5, 000 which can be paid by getting a loan from Boost’s sister company Aspirasi, a digital financing provider.

There will also be an amount given back to merchants in their e-wallet, which ranges from RM2, 000 to RM4, 000 for them to utilise it for cashback campaigns. 

Additionally, merchants are also entitled to insurance coverage up to RM10, 000 for accidental death and permanent disablement.  

Eric Chong, Director of Merchants of Boost explained that the programme aims to strengthen merchants’ online presence. He said the previous programme managed to transform 15,000 merchants from offline to online and more merchants are now expected to sign up with the new programme.

Sheyantha Abeykoon, Head of Financial Services and Executive Director of Aspirasi mentioned that loans applied will be approved within 24 hours in a seamless process.

“As of October 19, close to 8, 000 SMEs have been financed with over RM30, 000, 000. Even if you are a merchant with no credit history for small businesses, Aspirasi can still help you” he added.

Boost’s involvement in the ePENJANA and Local Heroes initiative has gathered more than 8.8 million registered users and 205, 000 merchants. With the success of Local Heroes, Boost has launched its next initiative, The Digitalisation Program.

Boost had recorded a 60 percent drop in Boost transactions during the first week of the Movement Control Order. However, after a big dip, the e-wallet saw a change in transactions that took place later on. 

“Initially, offline and online transactions on Boost were 62 percent and 38 percent respectively, but now it’s vice versa,” he said.

According to Mohd Khairil Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer, merchants are reluctant to go online due to their shallow understanding of digitalisation and their skepticism about online platforms leveraging a huge part of their profit. Plus, they feel cash is still dominant as only five percent of users opt for non-cash/card payment. 

He is however optimistic that Boost’s marketplace that only involves WhatsApp for business payment links will change their thoughts towards going online.

“Boost is ever-ready to continue helping merchants to get funding and protection to ensure their businesses sustain,” he added.

Marking Boost’s 3rd anniversary that took place yesterday (Oct 20) , the chief executive officer highlighted that despite starting in the Q4 of 2017, the mobile payment application managed to get 1 million registered users by Q1 of 2018 and 25,000 merchants by Q2 of 2018. By the end of 2019, there were 5 million registered users and 125,000 merchants.

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