An app way to pay
MALAYSIANS generally love to get together at mamak stalls and fancy coffee outlets. Orders are made, and it can be a wide range of things, anything from roti canai to teh tarik or ice blended mocha, but when the bill comes, one person usually settles the bill first before collecting from the rest.
The practice is called “tong-tong” (which roughly means “sharing payment”).
Splitting the bill, for say, RM33.45 including GST between five people can be tricky. So entrepreneur Hannah Daud and friends, Pavithran Nair and Emmanuel Frank, have come up with Bayar, a mobile wallet app to help people split the bills easily.
Pavithran and Emmanuel used a mobile wallet app while studying in the United States.
The payment service Venmo owned by PayPal allows users to transfer money to one another (within the US only) using a mobile phone app or Web interface. The e-wallet service handled US$17.6 billion (RM69.3 billion) worth of transactions in 2016. Hannah, who studied politics, as well as philosophy & economics in Wales, came back and worked for a while in her family business. But she soon realised that her heart was in technology.
“I love the challenge in creating things that can help make life easier,” says the 24-year-old from Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
MAKING THE APP
Hannah, Pavithran and Emmanuel, also 24, set up Bayartec in October 2016.
They worked on their “baby” for a while before joining the startup boot camp Alpha Startup by 1337 Ventures.
Hannah is the COO while Pavithran and Emmanuel assume the CEO and CTO positions respectively.
“At the boot camp, we were paired with industry experts from Seek Asia and Google Japan as mentors to learn more about the industry and make the Bayar app viable,” says Hannah.
The app won the top cash prize of RM20,000. Not only that, the mentors also invested in Bayar.
“We ended up getting RM100,000 in funding to fine-tune the app.”
By last November, Bayar was launched on both the App Store and Google Play.
HOW IT WORKS
The Bayar app can be used to pay friends, shops and restaurants, request money from debtors and transfer your wallet balance to your bank account.
It is free, with the exception of the second cashout per month which is chargeable at RM1.50. This amount is deductible from users’ cashout amount. “The tong-tong feature helps users split bills easily, by using an optical character recognition software,” says Hannah.
“You only need to snap a photo of the receipt and the app will digitise the bill and assign different items on the receipt to different people.”
The app is targeted at those between 18 and 30 years. Besides Tong-Tong, Occasions is another feature aimed at making things easy when there are group activities, like office parties, birthdays and outings. Occasions helps the organiser collect money from the group for shared expenses.
“If you plan an office party, you can collect the money and ask friends to chip in via the app, and keep track of payments.”
Bayar can also be used to buy and sell merchandise, goods and services.
“Use Bayar to make a payment, as long as the seller is also a Bayar user. If you’re a seller, you need to become a registered Bayar merchant.”
Bayar users can put in RM200 into the mobile wallet app. The team is working towards increasing the amount to RM1,500.
Bayar gets payment from vendors to stay viable while it builds its user base at universities, for example.
It has more than 300 users and two yet-to-launch vendors — DobyBox, a 24/7 locker laundry collection service via a mobile app, and HomeTaste, an online platform for pickup or delivery of food.