ATX and MasterCard introduce Bill Pay, the solution to Malaysia’s 1 billion annual bills pile

  • Consumers can manage all their bills in one platform via GOPAY or PAYHUB
  • Malaysia first in APAC for MasterCard to roll out service, benefits billers as well

(From Left) Kelly Koh, Director, Strategy, ATX, Sashie Kumar, Founder and CEO of ATX, Beena Pothen, Country Manager, Malaysia and Brunei, Mastercard and Vishal Gupta, Vice President, Products and Solutions, Southeast Asia, Mastercard.

You probably didn't know that more than a billion bills are issued in Malaysia annually. And that a whopping US$25 billion (RM113 billion) in payments is collected annually from Malaysians.

“Yet, how many of you pay your bills immediately or rush to make payment when you receive your monthly bills in the letter box or email? Most people will likely wait until their salary arrives or the last day of due payment," said Sashie Kumar, CEO and founder of ATX Fintech Holdings Sdn Bhd, who puts himself in the latter category.

[Ed: Para edited for accuracy. An earlier version spelt Sashie's name incorrectly.]

This is a common pain point in society that leads to stress and late payment penalty or even cut services, and that’s a major pain.

So, Sashie decided to tackle this pain point with the introduction of what he bills (pun intended) as Malaysia’s first bill presentation platform. And, MasterCard, which describes itself as a leader in global payments and a technology, happens to agree.

“There’s a lot of information that a customer has to remember when it comes to making bill payments such as the due dates of payments, manage cash flow, account numbers on a monthly basis,” said Beena Pothen, Country Manager for Malaysia and Brunei MasterCard.

“Plus, nearly 50% of the bill payments today are still not digitized. So this is our journey towards digitizing payments in Malaysia,” she added.

This led to the partnership between ATX and MasterCard, where they launched Malaysia’s first bill presentment platform, MasterCard Bill Pay, yesterday. Significantly, Beena said Malaysia is the first country in Asia Pacific for MasterCard to roll out this service.

“It’s a huge win for us because we managed to get Malaysia on the roadmap,” she enthused.

What MasterCard has introduced, leveraging on ATX’s technology, is a solution for consumers to view, pay, and manage their telco, utilities, council, parking, insurance, subscription etc, via ATX’s digital wallet, GOPAY or its online payment platform, PAYHUB2U

[Ed: Para edited for accuracy. An earlier version gave the wrong link to PAYHUB2U.]

Consumers can make payments from the varying options available, which include linking their bank accounts and saving their card credentials. They will also have access to interactive features such as real-time reminders on unpaid bills, so they can keep better track of statements and payment due dates. MasterCard believes the bill management tool will make it easy and secure for users to find and link billers using their own unique identifier. Right now this tends to be a long stream of numbers but now one can use terms like “Mum’s House” “Dad’s Harley Davidson” etc.

Consumers will be able to receive reminders and view their latest outstanding registered bills before the due date, and can schedule their bill payments, making it easy to plan spending.

“Therefore, MasterCard Bill Pay saves consumers’ time, increases convenience, reduces unpaid or missed bills, and the ability to manage their finances accordingly,” Sashie explains.

This is not the first time that he has utilized the concept of centralizing all payments into one platform. Way before he conceived this Bill Pay platform, Sashie was doing this for other billers who already have this API enabled service. 

According to him, many consumers make bill payments without knowing the exact amount owed, which sometimes results in their service being cut. He believes, Bill Pay will solve this problem.

While the end-consumers benefit from how they manage their bill payments, billers on the other hand, benefit from the reduction of cost to serve in generating physical bills or maintaining an e-billing system with the introduction of billpay.

“We’re gonna be offering this to all the billers to allow them to be on the platform and be doing the bill presentment, so people will know how much to pay at any interval and at any point of time,” Sashie said, adding that he has integrated 13 billers so far.

But how do ATX and MasterCard benefit from this partnership?

For the former, since they are the main point of contact for the customers to actually enable the payment portion, they get revenue there. “Furthermore, operators and service providers normally give us a commission to collect every single bill, the more bills we collect the more commission would be earned,” said Sashie.

“For MasterCard whenever a bill presentment and transaction happens, MasterCard per API will charge a fee. There will be no fees charged to the end-consumers,” Vishal Gupta, Vice President and Products and Solutions of SouthEast Asia Mastercard said.

Beena said merchants are willing to pay a very small fee for the service so that they don’t have to keep calling the end consumers’ that their payments have not come in. This in turn makes the collection part of the journey for the merchant becomes a lot easier with bill presentment options.

With many consumers already using internet banking to settle their bills, it will be a challenge to get them to adopt the more efficient platform that ATX and MasterCard claim Bill Pay to be. To incentivise them, MasterCard will be rolling out awareness campaigns with rewards as incentives.


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