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Curlec Is One Of Five Startups Across APAC Selected For Visa’s First Accelerator Program

Curlec has been selected as one of five inaugural cohort of startups to be part of Visa’s first ever Accelerator Program in Asia Pacific this 2021. 

Over the next four to six months, the participating startups will focus on creating defined commercial opportunities to collaborate on new payment solutions with Visa and its extensive network of bank and merchant partners. A key goal for the accelerator program is to support startups that have launched successful solutions in their home markets as they plan their next stage of growth.

“Hundreds of startups came forward with outstanding ideas for new and enhanced commerce experiences, but the five participants we’ve selected truly stood out,” said Chris Clark, regional president, Asia Pacific, Visa. 

 

“We’re excited to work with each of the startups in our first cohort to bring their concepts to life and expand their businesses into new markets across the region.”

As a subscription management platform, Curlec will be working on some of the most pressing financial and technological opportunities in Asia Pacific, and develop new ways to pay and be paid digitally to help drive financial inclusion for more consumers and businesses

“We applied to the Visa program as we felt that Visa’s global scale could help us accelerate the growth of our business, particularly outside our home country of Malaysia. We’re extremely excited to get started as we feel that Visa’s vision of the subscription economy and the future of commerce deeply aligns to ours, and we look forward to scaling this to the rest of Asia Pacific  and beyond,” said Zac Liew, Co-founder & CEO, Curlec.

Curlec will be joined by Brankas, DigitSecure, ModusBox and Open as cohorts for the upcoming program. 

For more information on the announcement, check out the full press release https://vi.sa/3wxZI86

 

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Tips Trending

Why You Should Be Billing Your Customers On A Recurring Basis

From fresh flowers to coffee machines and yes even cars, recurring billing has come a long way from its traditional use cases of utilities and rent.

At the heart of it lies a shift in consumer buying habits. Hunting for overall experience, rather than just product. Becoming a user, but not necessarily an owner. 

More and more consumers demand flexibility and customizability, from the way they pay to the way they are able to access the service or product at hand.

So why should you as a Malaysian business owner, give ear to this rising trend in recurring payments?

Let’s talk about why you should be billing your customers on a recurring basis. 

What are included in recurring payments?

In our previous article on recurring vs one-off payments, we defined recurring payments as transactions that are made repeatedly and periodically over a certain schedule. 

These include:

  • Subscriptions (Netflix, subscription boxes, mobile plans, gym memberships).
  • Instalment plans (loans, mortgage, and services such as MrPayLater or RiiPay, which enable you to split up the price of a purchase into instalments).

Top 5 benefits of recurring payments for businesses

1.   Knowing your due payments helps to better predict revenue

If you won a million dollars, would you prefer to receive it all one go, or split into a hundred thousand over 10 months?

The same analogy can be applied to your business too. A recurring billing model will provide concrete figures you know you can bank on within a certain timeframe. With traditional models, you’re left in the dark for the majority of the time outside of mere forecasts and estimates.

While you’re not receiving the entire sum at a single go, the spread-out payments does give you some reassurance for the months to come – even when you get hit by unexpected dips. This means that you, as the business owner will obtain better cost management over your business operations, as well as a healthier cash flow overall. 

2.   Grow better long-term relationships with customers and watch it flourish

Collecting recurring payments from your customers is a surefire way to foster a more valuable relationship with your customer. Granted, that relationship may or may not be mandated by contract (e.g. instalment payments for a computer), but on your end, you have a fixed term in which you get to “prove yourself” to the customer.

By offering recurring payments, you lower the affordability barrier for customers to try out your service or product. As they come to the end of the term, whether or not they choose to renew depends on how you’ve nurtured the customer relationship (among other things).

Take for example a customer who signs up for a 6-month contract for a software product. 

Throughout that term, all the interactions and engagements the customer experiences both with the software and the company come together to form an enriching and memorable experience for the customer. 

3.   Snip, snip! Cut down on administrative costs and time.

With recurring payments, you can minimise the legwork involved with traditional payments. For your business, that might mean addressing invoices (then following up endlessly) or always having to keep up to date with due payments.

This eats away at everyone’s time and piles unnecessary numbers onto the operation costs. 

Given the right software, the initial set-up can be as simple as a registration form messaged to the customer to fill up on their own accord. The system can then automatically receive the payments, process them and track them all at a glance.

Cutting out the time, costs and energy associated with debt collection ultimately frees up more time to do work that matters. 

4.   Consumers prioritise flexibility. Give them that!

One of the strongest pros synonymous with recurring billing is its customizability. The power of personalisation is more prominent than ever, yet not something many businesses are able to provide. 

Recurring billing doesn’t always have to be so rigid. If need be and customers request, payment softwares like Curlec enable you to customise the billing amount, date and frequency to a T.  Sounds messy? The system keeps track of it so you don’t have to. 

5.   Expand your reach by opening up more payment opportunities

From the standpoint of customer reach, do you think lowering your service/product’s price point could be beneficial?

By offering recurring billing as an option, you open up more avenues for customers to access what you’re offering. On the customers’ end, the promise of flexibility, affordability and less upfront commitment are attractive regardless of what the product/service is.

Appealing to a wider audience doesn’t mean you have to switch up your billing processes completely. Of course, bombarding your customers with every payment option under the sun makes no sense for both you and the customers, but you would benefit from a payment software which enables you to do more than just one thing.

 

Make recurring payments work for you with Curlec

At Curlec, we like to think we’re a payment software built for recurring paymentsminus the rigidity, plus all the customisability you need.

Curlec enables businesses to collect payments from customers’ bank accounts and debit/credit cards – either on a recurring basis or one-off.

After the initial set-up, the entire process is hands off, both for you and the customer. 

Interested to explore recurring billing for your business? Get in touch with us via the form below to find out more! 

 

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Tips Trending

Payment Trends On The Horizon For 2021

We get it – having to stay afloat as a business during downturns like this is a feat in itself, what more having to stay on top of your payment game.

As we find ourselves easing into 2021, we’ve compiled four payment trends we expect to see in Malaysia’s payments landscape for the year ahead – so you can stay in the know even while you focus on running your business.

2021 payment trends in Malaysia

  • Further decline in cash usage

It’s 2021, and surely by now most Malaysians are clear on our dreams for a cashless future.

But what does that look like in numbers? Here’s how we’re faring so far according to Bank Negara’s indicators of a cashless society.

Cashless indicators200620102019
e-Payment transactions (per person)2944149.5
Debit card transactions (per person)0.20.611.4

So when the question of whether or not we’re still en route towards our cashless dream is posed, the answer is a big, resounding, yes!

For something closer to home, it goes without saying that the pandemic has been a huge catalyst to digital payments too. 

For Curlec, our role in this cashless movement began even before our inception, starting from when we built the Direct Debit processing system which is currently being used by all participating banks with Direct Debit in Malaysia. 

And as the volume of FPX, Direct Debit and internet banking transactions continues to rise in 2020, we don’t expect cash to stop fading into the background anytime soon. 

 

  • Subscriptions and recurring payments

Helping SMEs process recurring payments has always been the name of the game for us at Curlec. Be it rental collections or school fees, automating the process makes life easier for all parties involved. 

On one hand, merchants can cut down on time spent chasing down late payments. On the other, consumers don’t have to keep up with making their monthly payments manually.

According to EY, 38.8% of their webcast participants listed adoption of alternative payment methods as the biggest positive outcome from the COVID-19 payments landscape.

So as the impact of the pandemic continues, we can expect recurring payments to carve up even more market as Malaysians look towards more convenient methods for the payments they’re already making on a regular basis.

 

  • Interest-free instalments.

Hoolah, Kaleklik, Riipay, Mr Pay Later…do any of these names ring a bell to you?

These companies are just among a handful in the Buy-Now-Pay-Later sector offering short-term credit to consumers. 

BNPL players like the ones listed above let consumers make big-ticket purchases without having to pay the full fee upfront, nor use their credit card or take out a loan. 

So how do they do it?

These companies typically offer alternative credit solutions by paying for the consumer’s purchase first, then splitting it up into an instalment scheme for the consumer to pay over a short term. 

Consumers flock to this solution for its low regulatory requirements and sometimes even zero interest fees! Earnings are mostly derived from late fees and arrangements with the merchants. 

Curlec ties in by making it easier for merchants to set up instalment plans for their products or services, no matter how small. 

 

  • More efficient payment systems

With so many payment methods, it can be unreasonable for business to be able to cater to all of them. But with consumers expecting their favourite payment methods to be met, how are we to cope?

As the various payments become increasingly consolidated, they become more efficient too.

In other words, instead of having to balance a cash register, petty cash, card terminal machine, merchant e-Wallet apps, online banking, auto/direct debit and all the admin associated with those payments, merchants can have the option of using two or three platforms where they can be managed at a glance.

Corporates too, will be glad to know that this efficiency may also translate to their internal functions. 

For instance, many might associate Curlec as a system that primarily debits from customers’ bank accounts. Some of the new features we’ve rolled out in the previous year however, also include Payouts, where merchants can now send out payment – to stakeholders, for refunds or for payroll etc.

How customers make their transactions are also set to be more efficient too, as in-store and online payment systems are bridged to become a single unified experience.

Curlec’s eMandate form can be used by both online and offline retailers – accessed in store or sent via Whatsapp and email too.

Bringing your customers along the way.

Easily said, but not so easily done. When it comes time to make the switch to digital recurring payments, not all your customers will be happy to hop onboard.

You can ease them in by:

  • letting them know why
  • making it easy for them
  • incentivising the preferred payment option

This 2021, seize the most out of the payment transitions ahead and find out how Curlec can help you make the move towards digital recurring payments. Scroll down to get in touch with us in the form below!

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Tips Trending

Curlec’s Year In Review 2020

We’ve all heard that change is the only constant, and that’s never been more true. 2020 has been the most challenging year of the decade for everyone, especially for businesses.

While many had their agility and resilience being put to the test this year, as scaling businesses, the repercussions of the pandemic ultimately teaches businesses of all sizes to do more with less.

And despite the challenges, 2020 has been a real breakthrough for Curlec. Thanks to our outstanding clients and partners, we continue to deliver on our mission to pave for better ways for businesses to transact and take control of their cash flow. Not only are we thrilled to have supported the growth of our clients and partners despite the ongoing pandemic, but we are also continuing to build a talented and diverse team to propel ourselves into the new year.

Key Milestones

  • Secured funding from 500 Startups to grow and accelerate our operations in Malaysia
  • Processed over USD 100 Million in transactions since launching
  • Joined forces with hundreds of partners in 2020, recording a 600% growth in recurring payment volumes year-on-year

Awards

  • Best FinTech Startup Finalist at the TechNode Global’s ORIGIN Innovation Startup Awards 2020

  • Represented the country as the regional finalist at the Tech In Asia x Surge Startup Pitch Arena Battle during the Tech In Asia Conference 2020

  • One of 2019’s regional finalist at the ASEAN Ricebowl Awards for the Best FinTech Startup category

Team

  • Improved employee productivity and performance through new and creative ways to work from home despite the ongoing pandemic and Movement Control Orders (MCO)

  • Launched our Future Leaders programme designed to groom the next generation of leaders of our company and empower change in the way business is done as we scale across Asia

  • Opened our doors to over 30 undergraduate students from Malaysia, Australia and the UK in 2020 to explore opportunities to work alongside experienced professionals and develop new skills and qualities as part of their course requirements and remote internship programmes

The impact of 2020 has upended old practices that have been long accepted as the norm. And as we continue to mitigate the current economical impact here at Curlec, we have reworked our technology to provide you an end-to-end solution with improved level of productivity and efficiency. Giving you the ability to be truly in control with your cash flow, ability to automate your payments and manage your projections all within a single platform.

 
So, while we continue to handle your payments each step of the way, you can focus on what matters and grow your business.
 

2020 Software Updates

Introducing One-Off & Recurring Credit Card Payments

Curlec has now broadened our payment offerings to include recurring as well as one-off credit card payments to ensure our merchants get the most comprehensive payment mix for their recurring business activities.

 
Scale Up Your Business With Faster Payouts

Whether you plan to send payouts to your customers, service providers or freelancers, scale up your business efficiently and improve your users’ experience by simplifying your disbursement workflows via our portal or powerful API.

Digitising Paper Mandates

Take the pain out of getting paid and digitise any of your existing PayNet-approved paper mandates to better optimise your payment collection strategy and manage all your transactions online within a single platform.

Group Pay

Redefining the way you transact, Curlec’s Group Pay makes it easy for businesses to automate and collect payments from multiple subsidiaries within a single ‘parent’ account so that you can focus on growing your business.

 
Flexible Subscriptions & Scheduled Collections

Whether it is bi-weekly, monthly or even quarterly collections, optimise your payment strategy by personalising your payment plans according to subscription tiers and give your customers the option to spread out their billings.

 
New Short Links

While we have rolled out our WhatsApp feature in 2019, this year, provide your customers with a frictionless checkout experience by utilising our short links API to request approvals for Mandates and Instant Payments via QR code and URL – which is great for SMS and WhatsApp.

 
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Data security is of utmost importance to us. At Curlec, we keep your business and customers safe from cyber attacks through a two-factor authentication which is an additional layer of security for your Curlec account.

Want to know what’s coming up?

Big things are happening at Curlec this 2021!
 
We are thrilled to unveil exciting new updates we have in store, designed to seize opportunities for a greater online payment experience this coming new year. So, while we continue to handle your payments each step of the way, you can focus on what matters; growing your business. Stay tuned to find out more!
 

Curlec offers businesses the ability to charge for one-off payments as well as set up recurring billings – all through a single, seamless system. Scroll down to get in touch with us via the contact form, or discover more about Curlec here!

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Charge Once, Charge Often? Let’s Talk Recurring vs One-Off Payments

Pricing your product or service is a tough cookie to crack. One dilemma that’s coming up more often is whether to charge your customers a one-time fee (as is traditional), or move towards the direction of recurring payments instead (as is on the rise).

Let’s talk about one-off payments vs recurring payments. How do the two weigh up against each other, and what if…you offer both?

What are one-off payments and recurring payments?

First things first, let’s make sure we’re on the same page in regards to what these terms mean.

A one-off or one-time payment is a single transaction, where the entire amount of the product or service is transacted. As the transaction is completed in one go, there is no continuous relationship established between the seller and buyer.

Recurring payments are transactions that are made repeatedly and periodically over a certain schedule. The billing amount and schedule can be fixed or flexible, but must always be communicated clearly between seller and buyer. Recurring payments include your gym memberships, utility bills and subscription services in general.

How do they work?

One-off payments are simple and straightforward. Be it cash, card or online banking – the customer makes a single transaction.

With recurring payments on the other hand, the customer has to provide authorisation for the seller to credit from their account based on the agreed amount and frequency.

Payment methods which allow automatic recurring billings come in all shapes and forms:

  • Standing orders
  • Auto debit (from credit or debit card)
  • Direct debit (from bank account)

Pros and cons of recurring payments vs one-off payments

Which payment model is more suitable for my business?

Both recurring and one-off payment methods offer considerable appeal. For consumers, recurring payments may be more accessible than higher, one-off payments. On the other hand, many consumers still remain skeptical about allowing businesses to “access” their bank accounts.

But which should your business explore? When making the comparison, these 3 factors can serve as a helpful starting point.

  • What’s the nature of your product or service like

Traditionally, industries which have been well-served by recurring billing models include media, gyms, software, utilities and subscriptions. Services which can be provided on an ongoing basis allow merchants and customers alike to gravitate towards recurring billings for its “set it and forget it” nature.

  • Do you have the right infrastructure?

Managing recurring payments can be complex, so make sure to choose a system like Curlec which eases (and ideally automates) the process instead of adding more work on top of it.

  • What level of customer experience can you provide?

If you’re going to charge your customers on a recurring basis, what guarantee do you have that they’ll stick around? Though the price may be lower, the “feeling” that the merchant is taking money from them every month can make it more difficult to retain customers without good customer service and valuable retention strategies in place.

The Intersection Point

Despite their differences, you don’t have to see recurring payments and one-off payments as two separate black-and-white entities!

Here’s why – Many payment methods used for one can also be used for the other. For example, many may know Direct Debit (withdrawal from a customer’s bank account) for its fuss-free method of collecting recurring payments.

What many may not know is that Direct Debit can also be used for instant one-off payments. At Curlec, these are known as “click payments” and utilise the same mechanism used to setup Direct Debit.

Why stick to one, when you can offer both?

Your customers have varying payment capabilities, hence why both recurring and one-off payments may have their respective places in your business. Instead of committing to just one, offer your customers the ability to make the choice which suits them best.

Curlec offers businesses the ability to charge for one-off payments as well as set up recurring billings – all through a single, seamless system. Scroll down to get in touch with us via the contact form, or discover more about Curlec here!

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New Feature Alert: Collect Recurring Payments From Credit/Debit Card!

For many of us, recurring billings are without a doubt heavily ingrained into our lives. Our phone services, internet, mortgage and car instalments all make up some examples of recurring payments which are ever-present in our day-to-day lives.

In the past two years, Curlec has been instrumental in making the recurring payments process easier for both business owners and consumers.

We’ve built an end-to-end recurring billing and subscription management system, which has transformed the Direct Debit process to become seamless and automated.

With this, businesses both small and large have been able to introduce Direct Debit to their customers, enabling both parties to enjoy the convenience that comes with recurring payments.

Introducing recurring card payments with Curlec

While we previously only provided the option for recurring billing from bank accounts, you can now offer your customers the option to pay with their debit or credit cards as well!

Initially, Curlec’s Direct Debit sparked a buzz in the FinTech scene for fuss-free recurring withdrawals directly from the customer’s bank account.

Now, merchants can enjoy the exact same fuss-free process to collect recurring payments from their customers’ debit or credit cards as well.

How does recurring card payments with Curlec work?

Existing merchants, fret not! The procedure to set up recurring card payments is almost exactly the same as what you’re already used to.

For starters, customers need to complete their one-time verification via the Mandate as usual. This time, instead of selecting the “FPX” option, customers simply choose the “Visa/Mastercard” option.

The Mandate is essentially a form that customers fill to grant permission for the merchant to deduct the agreed amount and frequency of payments from their bank account/card.

After filling in all the necessary details, the customers’ card details are tokenised and stored in the system. The next time a payment is due, all you have to do is click a button to collect the payment due.

“Store my card details? What do you mean?”

Concerned customers will be glad to know that card details are not stored by merchants nor Curlec, and are only held by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS).

The difference for businesses

  • Bigger reach
  • More options for your customers
  • Customers still get to enjoy credit card reward points

With recurring card payments comes all the convenience you’d expect from credit card processing.

As a merchant, you’ll be able to expand your reach to customers who are comfortable with being billed from both bank account and card.

With recurring card payments, there is also the usual credit card incentive of reward points – which might serve as an extra incentive for customers to opt for recurring payments with you.

Most of us are familiar with using terminal machines when paying with card, which typically involves credit card networks such as Visa and Mastercard as the intermediary.

Curlec however, uses Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet) as the foundation for processing both Direct Debit and locally-issued cards as well. This means that card payments which go through PayNet still count when it comes to earning reward points!

That being said, card payments are subject to a higher transaction fee as well as longer wait time.

With Direct Debit on the other hand, there are no card networks involved such as Visa and Mastercard. The only communication that takes place is between one bank to another.

This makes Direct Debit a more affordable option as the processing fee is significantly lower.

To find out more, an article we’ve written earlier delves a little deeper into Direct Debit vs Credit Cards.

Malaysian consumers are generally familiar with the concept of recurring card payments, whereas Direct Debit may feel like they’re granting the business full access to their bank account.

With more traditional industries such as utilities, customers may be more hesitant and less willing to explore Direct Debit, automatically leaning towards card payments instead for their recurring billings and subscriptions.

In the end, it all boils down to having both options in place for your customers.


If you’re a business who would like to explore these payment methods, find out more about Curlec here, or scroll down to the form at the bottom of this page to get in touch with us!

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Case Studies Trending

Cheng & Co: Empowering Accountants And SMEs Using Curlec’s Online Direct Debit Solution

As Covid-19 continues to unfold globally with most countries putting their citizens under lockdown, the repercussions of the pandemic are causing a profound effect on businesses, both big and small – challenging professional services to configure their workforces and operations to better manage their client’s cash flow position and maintain visibility over the cash pipeline as a first line of defence.

From a business perspective, accountants generally struggle to get clients to pay their fees on time. And unpaid invoices can leave serious gaps in the financial report, along with the hassle for accountants to chase the late payers. Now, with unprecedented economic uncertainty, accounting firms are resorting to acquiring advance payment prior to the work submission to ensure they are able to cover and maintain the necessary expenses and overhead.

Accurate financial reporting is crucial in driving decisions that run the business. And for the calendar year end businesses, this will be the first financial year when the impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak are reflected in their financial statements.

                               Tom Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Cheng & Co.

Founded in 1993, Cheng & Co is one of the largest local accounting firms that serves over 6,000 SMEs in Malaysia by providing professional business services in the areas of tax, accounting, company secretarial and business consulting. With over 14 branches located across Malaysia and 4 branches overseas including Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Australia, the company serves predominantly SME businesses along with fellow startups and larger corporations.

Prior to adopting Curlec, Cheng & Co was facing a number of challenges, including time wasted relying on manual administrative work, as well as chasing for late payments with invoices as low as RM1.25.

What’s more, 100% of their clientele were utilising manual methods such as cheques and bank transfers to pay their dues, putting a large portion of effort for Cheng & Co into managing time and manpower to solve these discrepancies in their cash flow.

There are a number of implications on how the disruption of cash flow can affect your business. But now, coupled with the current economic uncertainty due to the outbreak as well as having the team work remotely from their homes with limited access to their clients, the process of issuing and collecting manual payments continues to be delayed until the Movement Control Order (MCO) period has been lifted. And having limited to no access to client documents in the meantime proves to be a major issue in ensuring business continuity.

Speaking about the repercussions of Covid-19 towards the firm,

“Being in the B2B space, many of the businesses we serve are closed until further notice to comply with the MCO order. And due to this closure, we are not able to physically meet with our clients and they are not able to make their payments on time, causing a significant disruption in our business practices,” said Tom Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Cheng & Co.

In seeking to improve its operational efficiency during this lockdown period, Cheng & Co aims to upgrade their subscription-based model by incorporating Curlec’s Direct Debit system to automatically collect and reconcile these payments with their own accounting system.

“It is imperative for businesses to evolve and adapt to new technological advancements in order to keep pace with the changing global landscape, especially with the current situation today,” said Wong.

                                                         The Cheng & Co Team

And now, with the partnership with Curlec, Automated Direct Debit has become a new standard for Cheng & Co’s clients in Malaysia.

Incorporating Curlec’s services designed specifically to handle both recurring (designed for recurring secretarial services) and one-off payments (for tax services), the system has enabled Cheng & Co to not only provide a seamless payment cycle for its clients, but also diversify it’s payment plans to provide more options that benefits both the firm and the clients during this MCO period, such as the incorporation of instalment schemes within the terms for outstanding payments.

“With Curlec, we are able to redefine the way we receive our returns as well as diversify our payment offerings to suit the different agreements we have with our clients, offering both reliability and the flexibility needed to weather out these trying times. Making strides in payment efficiency, Curlec integrates seamlessly with our cloud-based accounting software, Xero to streamline our entire collection process, helping to digitise our businesses in line with the current situation, thus, giving our clients the full package.”

For a traditional business like Cheng & Co, Curlec’s payment solution makes the payment process easy to initiate and monitor, as they work closely with the company to integrate all the invoices with payment links for our clients to easily make payment through email or WhatsApp. Since the company has incorporated everything into a single system, Cheng & Co know exactly when they get paid as well as what is coming down the cash pipeline every month, making it so much easier for the company to plan its internal finances.

“Moving forward, we are working to move at least 50% of our collection done through Direct Debit”.

If you would like to take full advantage of Cheng & Co’s collaboration with Curlec, please leave your contact details below.

 

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Digital Payments: A ‘Nice-to-Have’ To The Only Way To Do Business

Covid-19 has sent the world into a panic. This is particularly true for businesses, with companies of all sizes being sent into survival mode. If cash flow wasn’t the priority before, it certainly is now.

A survey conducted by SME Malaysia found that only 33% of Malaysian businesses had just enough cash flow to pull through in March, while another 37.8% can sustain themselves until April 2020.

The fallout from this pandemic for businesses is clear for all to see. Initiatives such as going digital, which we previously viewed as “nice to have” pre Covid-19, have quickly accelerated overnight to becoming the only way to do business. This is particularly true when taken against a payments perspective – when there is no cash, no cheques, no over-the-counter transactions, then digital payments are a must.

Here at Curlec, we provide an online platform that helps businesses collect recurring and one-off payments, and ultimately puts them in control of their cash flow. In this article, we will explore how solutions such as ours can help mitigate the short term impacts that we all currently face right now, as well as what can be done longer term to weather the next potential storm.

Make it as easy as possible for your customers to pay

In the midst of the global pandemic, it is more important than ever for businesses to offer convenience and flexibility to their customers. The last thing you need is having your remaining prospects cancel their purchase or subscription due to restricted payment options, especially when sales are at a premium.

Relevance remains the key currency for business owners to scale up their operations effectively, and there has never been a more important time for businesses to become truly digital. To address this issue, Curlec enables business owners such as yourselves to not only manage your payments digitally and remotely, but ultimately the power to design your own payment plan to dictate when to bill, how much to invoice as well as when to collect.

Being truly digital means having to be closely attuned to how your customer wants to pay, or in the case in a lockdown, how they can pay. So, when making payments by cheques or over the counter is out of the question, have your customers complete their transactions directly through your website using Curlec’s API, or utilise our Request-To-Pay feature via email or WhatsApp. Here payment links with pre-filled forms can be sent to your customer, where they can simply authorise within a few clicks.

When payment becomes real-time and instant, all the customers need to do is authorise forms online or approve requested payments in real-time, without even making a trip to the store. This means that you can get paid instantly!

Have full visibility over your payments process

While some perceive going digital as just a requirement to engage with new customers, being digital actually requires you to be open to re-examining your entire way of doing business and understanding where the new frontiers of value are.

The Curlec system easily integrates with accounting systems, meaning that collecting payments become automatic when invoices are due, and reconcile these payments automatically so that you will be able to know what has been collected as well as how many payments that are due or outstanding. Having all this information at hand meant that you can easily manage your projections, as well as having the ability to act on certain issues quicker to avoid any disruptions to your cash flow.

In addition to that, one of the major benefits of going digital with Curlec is its mobility. The cloud enables you and your team to have a consolidated view of all your payment records in real-time, while offering the flexibility to work from any location remotely. Aside from improving the level of productivity and efficiency, this saves you having to deal with stacks of invoices and worrying about payment notices getting lost. You can spend less time worrying about who has yet to pay you and focus more on growing your business.

Widen your collection strategies

Collecting funds, especially recurring payments should be easy. And for most businesses, using Direct Debit puts you in control of when you get paid.

But what happens if the collections fail? Every failed transaction will negatively impact your cash flow, increase churn rates as well as require heavy admin work to be rectified.

So, how does one expand and diversify their debtor strategy when this happens?

With the Curlec portal, you get instant notifications of any failed transactions as well as the ability to automate retries to improve your collection rates accordingly. The system provides a variety of automatic notifications which includes mandate set up, transaction status and failures that encompasses the entire collection process so that you are notified and are able to rectify any related issues instantly. Having full visibility of your collection status using the Curlec portal means you can act on this a lot quicker and strategically.

And if the retries for Direct Debit still don’t work, you don’t need to worry. Curlec gives you the ability to combine your regular collections with our one-off Instant Pay (FPX) tool. As a result, your customers can pay off what is owed for a one-off period while you sort out the recurring issue. So, whether you collect monthly subscriptions, instalments or one-off transactions, collecting payments with Curlec has never been easier.

In a time where cashless methods are the safest and most practical way to conduct your business, it is now mission critical to be able to make the change quickly and become truly digital. So while you work on what needs to be done to sustain and grow your business, Curlec will be right behind you to handle all of your collection needs.


To find out more on how Curlec can help you collect payments remotely, connect with us today by filling in the contact form below.

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Trending

The Subscription Economy

From digital disruption to the race to innovate customer demands, gone are the days when business-customer relationship are as simple as the swiping of a card.

According to the recent IBM Institute for Business Value survey report,

  • 68% of consumers anticipate organisations will harmonise consumer experience;
  • 76% of consumers expect organisations to understand their individual needs;
  • 81% of consumers demand improved response time.

Businesses are now changing the way they sell their products and services, and the emergence of the Subscription Economy in the last few years saw the influx of a multitude of players – from small newcomers to giant household names in Malaysia.

The new economy puts pressure on businesses to quickly anticipate what’s next – fulfilling the need to constantly flex and adapt in an industry that never stands still.

An interesting trait about the subscription economy is the fact that it’s a win for just about everyone. The model relies on trust and mutually beneficial collaboration to work with its affiliates and consumers. And the reality is, business today is all about access as the new imperative.

Subscriptions are the way of the future where customers prioritise relationships over products. To do this, you must be able to sell, market and deliver based on a clear understanding of customer behavior and continuously nurture the relationship which can be monetised via 3 fundamental pillars.

 

1. Customer Identity – The shift in the economy creates a more predictable, recurring revenue streams driven by a new type of customer – The Subscriber. The customer identity should now include not just the basic information such as name, mobile number and email address but also purchase history, renewal value and usage metrics.

2. Customer Journey – The formula for growth for subscription-based companies relies on its ability to focus on the customers and delivering rewarding experiences that gets better over time.

3. Performance Metric – The new requirement for the business model includes the ability to track a new set of metrics which encompass customer growth and engagement, transaction performance, subscription revenue and relationship retention (renewals, upsells and churn).

 

Businesses are not only required to revamp to keep customers engaged in long-term relationships, but also find support through technical innovation to advance them forward. As technology continues to evolve how payments are accepted and by whom, as a result, there is a recalibration of the payment networks to fit the current financial circumstances. This avenue has provided businesses with the ability to give consumers what they want – before they know they want or need it.

There is no doubt that Fintech companies have transformed financial services, disrupting previous methods by combining bold new business models and cutting edge technologies. Some have soared. Others have fallen. And today, Curlec thrives.

 
Customisation Is Key

The subscription model creates a never ending product, and the customers are seen as innovation partners to its progression. As productivity and inspiration are now continuous, the one-price-fits-all era is definitely over.

Interlinking 3 important fundamentals in business strategy; customer acquisition, customer retention and churn management, the pricing structure is the surest way to multiply the value of your relationship with your customers.

Seeking immediate fulfilment to come with real time experience, the subscribers see less separation between their business and personal selves and expect their transactions to be more personalised. This process would require personalisation of customer experience from initial signup to include upgrades, add-ons, new services and renewal.

Curlec’s Direct Debit offers unending room for flexibility where businesses can choose to customise each payment plan by frequency, value and collection. Read more on the different ways Curlec helps SMEs here.

 
Reaching The Masses

In 2017, only about 20% of Malaysians were considered to be credit card holders. Since the subscription model calls for agility in billing cycles, customers are expected to constantly make changes to their existing subscriptions (i.e renewals, upgrade, downgrade, suspend or adjust their services). Automation is the key to optimising collections, and subscription businesses will need to collect payment quickly and punctually.

With Curlec, businesses can now say goodbye to payment method limitations and allows your customers to pay directly through online banking. An added benefit to this is that bank accounts don’t expire and rarely change compared to credit or debit cards.

 

Build Customer Relationship

Businesses need to understand that growing your active users goes beyond just having growth without retention. Now, payments are accepted via multiple channels such as during point of sale, online and even on the go. What businesses deliver and how you deliver them must be completely changed as running a subscription company means there is a continuing relationship with the customer.

An average subscription has a vast number of order transactions which can change drastically over its life cycle that causes ripple effects on billings and revenue. This is where customer experience becomes the prime competitive differentiator.

At Curlec, we understand that subscribers do not like to be tied down. Give them the option of spreading out billings over time instead of lump-sum, making your business a trustworthy fan favorite while still guaranteeing prompt payment on time, every time.

If you are a subscription-based company and would like to know more on how Curlec can help your business to collect recurring payments, get in touch with us at the bottom of this page or read more on our website!

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Case Studies Trending

Instalments For All, Even Non-Credit Card Holders?

The everyday practice of paying via instalments isn’t something foreign to most, and has become commonplace even among today’s youth. With the bulk of people opting for this payment method for most commitments that would otherwise eat off impossible chunks of their income, large purchases become more and more accessible for folks of all income statuses.

Be it for car, home or tech appliances, this practice sees people of various walks and ages taking advantage of instalment plans to prevent them from breaking the bank.

But with 47% of Malaysian youths facing high credit card debt as of early this September and only 18% of Malaysians between the ages 20 – 74 who are credit card holders, there are more and more reasons for modern-day citizens to shy away from credit cards. Rationales include high interest rates, poor financial habits and risk of low credit scores.

When credit cards don’t come into play

But what about those who don’t qualify to register for credit cards? The eligibility criteria varies according to each bank but in general, a minimum age of 21 and income of RM24,000 per annum applies. So if you’re not earning at the very least RM2,000 and above a month, bid goodbye to your chances of enjoying the advantages of a credit card.

The startup that’s beating the system

Yet, there is a way around it. DokkuPay, a Malaysian startup manages to find the chink in the armour and makes the option of paying via instalments available for those who would rather not use credit cards. DokkuPay is a payment solution app which allows you to purchase items first, but spread the total cost over 4 equal instalments with bank accounts. And get this, interest-free!

In a nutshell – “Buy Now, Enjoy Now, Pay Later.” as their saying goes.

“We believe that everyone is entitled to buy things that they want without having to pay one lump sum at once. There are clear pitfalls to using traditional credit products to obtain what you want, when you want it. Life can quickly become defined by the debt itself, rather than the things it acquired.”

The Ins And Outs

  • Following that, add a payment method on the app by verifying your bank account details. This is exactly where Curlec steps in and makes such automatic “instalments” possible – via Direct Debit. Curlec enables this by authorising DokkuPay to collect recurring payments from bank accounts.
  • Begin shopping as per usual and when it’s time to checkout, purchase a voucher code on the DokkuPay app and apply this code when checking out on the merchant’s website. Essentially, DokkuPay pays for you!
  • With that settled, your instalment schedule of four equal instalments begins within five working days from the day of purchase, where your first instalment will be deducted from your bank account via Curlec’s Direct Debit. The remaining three instalments then become due every two weeks thereafter. Throughout each transaction, Curlec acts as the third party between DokkuPay and the user to allow such deductions to be made.

 

Dokkupay on the App Store and Google Play

Curious users may wonder about any hidden fees. Fret not as DokkuPay stays true to its claim of being 100% interest-free guaranteed. The only fees that come into the picture are the late fees incurred for any unsuccessful scheduled payments, in which case RM10 will be charged per late payment. So make sure you have sufficient funds in your account.

At the core of a FinTech revolution with Curlec

The founders behind this FinTech collaboration are Lim Kah Hoe, CEO of DokkuPay and Zac Liew, CEO of Curlec. Both these startups are among many FinTech companies who are playing a pivotal role in moving Malaysia to a cashless society step-by-step. One making the possibility of paying via instalments a reality for everyone, the other simplifying recurring payments for businesses in a seamless manner.

With a vision to democratise financial services here in Malaysia, coupled with the entrepreneurial spirit aflame inside them, these companies are paving the way to more convenient and all-inclusive payment solutions for the general public and business owners alike.

“We want to be the innovating force to the retail economy and we aspire to empower customers in managing their finances and becoming their most go-to payment method. This was never possible until Curlec came about and now we are able to offer instalment payments by bank accounts.” – Kah Hoe

DokkuPay is merely one among the many startups who work hand-in-hand with Curlec, who are the primary force behind such cashless payment options. This collaboration was brought about through a startup accelerator programme named 1337 Ventures. Aimed at discovering, funding and launching emerging startups, this programme gave Curlec the opportunity to play a bigger role in growing the local FinTech ecosystem.

As part of Curlec’s support scheme, all startups on the 1337 Ventures programme were offered Direct Debit services from Curlec free of charge for the first 6 months. This was intended to help get these startups off the ground, all the while supporting likeminded FinTech companies in the hopes of catapulting Malaysia towards the direction of a smarter paying society.

Just as how DokkuPay realised their goals with Curlec, your business too can benefit from our Direct Debit system, contact us below this page to find out more!