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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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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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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!