Posts Tagged ‘mol’

MOL at the center of online & offline payments

There’s a chance that Malaysian payments will get shook up. From an online perspective, you’ve got the former nbepay becoming MOLPay. From an offline perspective, you’ve got a joint venture between softspace and MOL to form MOLCube (e27 cover it too). The center of all of this is MOL.

For me, I’ve been waiting for a softspace device for quite a few months. I was excited since April 2012. I was told a device would be coming my way from 18 June 2012, and never heard back; the presumption is that people are using this device according to their website. But it is not available for the “general population”.

I have never met Ganesh Kumar Bangah, the man behind MOL, but being a young CEO, I figure he’s got the chops & energy to pave the way. Besides, he’s backed by Berjaya tycoon Vincent Tan.

Ugliness begone, let there be better online & offline payments and this will pave the way for e-commerce as well as physical versions of e-commerce (pop-up stores, bazaars, heck, imagine your pasar malam vendor going online).

A lot of this will involve lobbying Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). I don’t believe any payment gateway intentionally wants to provide terrible user experience, I believe its usually to feed regulatory requirements.

Looking forward to payments in 2013. It can only be better than today.

Starbucks with two free wifi APs

I’ve been noticing that more and more Starbucks outlets are not just having the “timezone” wireless access point any longer, but also having one named “Starbucks”. Timezone is available for free, without registration (except in KLCC’s concourse), however, the Starbucks AP is provided for by MOL AccessPortal.
MOL Access Portal at Starbucks...
They’re quite annoying. They make you watch an ad for 30 seconds, before granting you “free” Wifi (in exchange for some information).

The real problem? I run Flash Block in Firefox, and don’t see the ad playing! In fact, once that ad is done with, and you’re done registering (that seems to be a one-off process), you are shown a five-columned website, in where you see relevant information about Starbucks, however, there are three columns that are also blocked via Flask Block (the ads!).

Maybe I’m not the ads target market. Then again, browsers don’t come built-in with ad blockers, or flash blockers, so this probably doesn’t affect majority of the people showing up at Starbucks. I wonder how effective the 30 second ad actually even is?

For folk going to Starbucks, its a win all the way. Two access points, double the chance of having faster Internet. For those going to Coffee Bean? Sigh, Airzed, you’re losing out… For those in other countries where Starbucks makes you pay for the Internet (I’m looking at you America [t-mobile] and Australia [horrendously expensive Telstra]) – you’ve found another reason to move :-)

On another note, I’ve noticed that from February 1 – April 13 2009, Starbucks is running a loyalty program, that rewards you after buying seven tall cups of any beverage – you get the eight one free. Starbucks isn’t normally into these loyalty goodies, so I’m guessing they want to keep you loyal during the down economy (besides, coffee at the mamak is averaging RM1.50-1.80 now).