Touch N Go’s mobile payment system uses QR codes instead of NFC

Posted:  February 22, 2017   By:    27 comments   


Touch N Go is easily one of the most used cashless payment systems in the country. With its widespread adoption in toll booths, public transports and selected merchants, it’s really hard to escape using it. And it’s a convenient service…for the most part.

Now, the company has begun beta testing their brand new ‘cashless’ mobile payment system, Touch N Go Wallet. The only problem is that I don’t think they fully grasped what made TNG convenient in the first place. Why? Well, this new mobile system uses QR codes and PIN numbers instead of NFC.

Touch N Go Wallet, as far as we can understand it, is basically integrating TNG and most of its services into your smartphone via an app. Here’s a quick and informative video to help you understand:

Essentially, you have to download the app, register a new account, log in, hit ‘pay’ at the main menu and the smartphone will generate a QR code. Then, get the merchant to scan the code on your phone’s display. Finally, enter your 6-digit PIN to authorise your payment.

I don’t know about you but the whole QR code scanning and PIN number authorisation seems really inconvenient to me. To make matters worse, since it’s a TNG service, you’ll actually have to top-up your Wallet before you can use it. Also, because it uses a QR code for external payments, you also won’t be able to use your phone to pay for tolls or public transport.

Thankfully, you will be able to reload your account via JomPay, online banking, debit/credit cards and TNG Reload PINs. You can reload a minimum of RM10 all the way to a maximum of RM500. Other good news is that you can use the TNG Wallet to pay for services within the app itself. These services include:

Pre-paid Top-Up — (X-Pax/Hotlink/Digi/U-mobile/Altel/Tune Talk/XOX and Merchant Trade)
Pay Utility Bills — (TM Unifi/Celcom/ASTRO)
Entertainment – Buy movie tickets online (MBO)
Travel – Low-cost flight ticket purchase (Airpaz)

You can also use this service to send or receive money ‘instantly’. What I find really silly is that you can’t actually reload your physical TNG card (which, let’s face it, is the card you’ll be using the most) from the application.

External QR code transactions, meanwhile, will only be available at merchants in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) during the beta testing. TNG has even included a nifty little map on their website that lets you see all the participating merchants and their respective locations.

TNG has also rolled out out special promotions and rewards that range from free Grab rides, extra reward points and biweekly reload rewards. To learn more, head here. In addition, the TNG Wallet has a loyalty reward point system for those who use the service more.

Of course, this is all still quite new. It’s so new, in fact, that the website doesn’t even look ready yet. Several hyperlinks bring me to 404 pages and I also can’t subscribe to their newsletter. You can, however, pre-register for this service here.

But what if everything we see here becomes a reality?

Now, I am one of the biggest proponents for cashless solutions. There’s just something so archaic and old-fashioned about cash transactions that I’m just not a big fan of.

That said, cashless payments should also be as convenient as possible. Stuff like Paywave only requires a beep while mobile payments like Samsung Pay authenticate via fingerprint and work with MST and NFC machines, rather than requiring the merchant to scan a QR code on your phone screen.

I don’t know why they didn’t just use the NFC technology built into most modern smartphones. I mean, they are called “touch and go” not “tap-your-screen-scan-a-QR-code-authenticate-with-6-digit-PIN and go” right?

But I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. This does come from the brilliant minds that brought you the dumb watch you can pay with.

C’mon TNG, what were you thinking?

Thanks Aizzamil Rushaidir for the tip!


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27 Comments for Touch N Go’s mobile payment system uses QR codes instead of NFC

Kamil

Wrong Move TnG! People are looking for quicker and safer transaction process. Not a slower and inconvenient method!

Csodme

They not using nfc due to all malaysians using china phones which does not come with nfc….

What to do, unless it provide both method then it can satisfy all of us

Or

Cut cost, and put the money somewhere.

Csodme

Yea. Better discount 10% instead of add in 10%surcharge for tng usage…

Nonsense to have surcharge for using tng…

    orang biasa

    Agree with you. Want ppl to use but still charge 10%…

Jack

I better use the real TnG card than this silly app. Why do I have to maintain two separate accounts and mobile is very limited to ttdi? No benefit at all

Sam

I still can't get over the fact that you have to pay a service fee to use TNG for parking. Doesn't seem like they want to encourage people to use their system.
Any news of AliPay that is rumored to be coming to Malaysia?

    orang biasa

    Parking paid by tng when watching midnight cinema. And i do agree with you, want ppl use tng service but charge 10%, nonsense…

      chorwin

      Agree, please remove the 10% surcharge for using TnG to pay for parking. We top up $$ into the card, and never give us any cents for interest, come on, you need adoption then you get more $ than the 10% surcharge.

      I prefer QR code and no pin. Since the app need to login, why need QR code + Pin.
      If make everything possible to pay via Visa Paywave or Mastercard Paypass… with a tap… faster, easier, and efficient.

dan

You had me at “tap-your-screen-scan-a-QR-code-authenticate-with-6-digit-PIN and go” . Lol . 🙂

hooleah

Getting e-payments to work in the physical world is tough; big companies like Apple & Google have tried it but I don't think anyone can claim a raging success.

One of the biggest challenges for all such payment systems is to achieve ubiquity. The problem is very much a chicken-or-egg-first issue: merchants only find it viable to accept these e-payments if there are enough consumers who have it, but consumers only are willing to install and lodge in value if there are enough merchants using it.

By using the QR Code instead of NFC, TnG are obviously trying to address the customer component. While many flagship phones have NFC, as a percentage these represent a minority of the population; however, everyone's smartphone has a screen that can flash a QR code.

The big usability problem would most likely be the need to key in a PIN. It may be better if a user can personally decide a limit which transactions can be executed without a PIN. For example, for micropayments of less than RM10, I may choose to sacrifice some security for ease-of-use.

    VVVV

    Thanks God and finally someone intelligent has spoken.

    QR Code payment is making big wave in China for small amount trx. Wechat is the big player. Those who still argue using NFC are those Frogs under coconut shell. Obviously NFC payment is having some obstacle in implementing…. Not the NFC tech but bank app that try to tight itself thru NFC.

    I am using CIMB and Maybank payment thru NFC on my phone, but in any one time, only 1 app is active and may crash yr phone… the app security issue. Also when u swap yr phone, yr Maybank and CIMB app still register yr old phone ID…. u hv to uninstall or call their e-banking hotline to unpair yr phone from yr account…

    I dont think nobody has experienced this before…. so using QR or NFC better? You tell me!

      Mr Hans

      Well said! Totally agree with you..

      TLT

      Your phone can only use one active NFC app for payment. Better use android or Samsung pay because it can support multiple banks.

      QR_fan

      101% agree with u, there are many frogs in malaysia still living under the coconut shell. QR code is a big success in China and it would take on the world sooner or later.

    TNG user

    With people like touch n go, this is a chicken duck and egg issue. They are not even successful in making touch n go accessible in retail and now they are creating another new system which has no connection with the real touch n go card. I think it is too ambitious to assume that touch n go will be on par with the Chinese QR code based system. Android pay and Apple pay adoption will perform better because the terminals are there and new phones will support it.

    People don’t trust TNG with their card. People will not trust them with their app.

    TLT

    Digitalisation of payment supposed to make things quicker and easier for consumer. What was touch n go thinking of achieving when they make a mobile wallet that
    1. Harder to use than physical touch n go card
    2. Less support by merchant than physical touch n go card
    3. You still need to carry your told touch n go for taking bus and MRT.

    NFC card system like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay work because they replace your physical card. Faster to use and better security. Less card to carry in wallet.

    I wonder what touch n go people are smoking when they call this fastest way to pay.

akmal

rubbish

Jc Goh

Actually this is a reverse version of Alipay. In China or other places which support Alipay is the Buyer scan Seller QR code make payment. It work very well in China.
But the brilliant people didn't think twice.
Why Alipay done it reverse, because they know people will apply different types of screen protector. It will interrupt the scanner and slow down the process of payment.
Why not these ppl do more surveys, now days is easy to know which method of payment is more friendly use.
Or these ppl just want make a new thing so that they proud of it.
Is not shame or anything else you copy other ppl result or work. At least you get the right path to succeed.

    Hello

    I don't see GSC cinema scan the QR code got issue?

smart455

When you nurture and promote privileged retards to run the show, you should have seen this sort of nonsense coming….

Ngan Tengyuen

They should rename their company to Touch N' Gone.

Cyrus

qr code. macam china.

Sabre23t

《I don’t know why they didn’t just use the NFC technology built into most modern smartphones.》

Back in 2009 Maxis Fasttap NFC phone already have Tng working on it, able to tap at Plus toll plazas and RapidKL LRT/Bus.

Why can’t they extend Maxis Fasttap to newer NFC phones? Perhaps provisioning the phones and Tng private keys management is a harder problem than it seems from outside.

Ref …
http://www.soyacincau.com/2009/04/19/maxis-introduces-fasttap-nfc-service/

    bps

    hello you should check the fact before comment, no more Fasttap long long time ago, please wake up

      Beta

      Lol, rather than asking someone to check the fact and wake up , better u understand what Sabre23t commented

LV

I will never give Touch n Go the chance with this.

Years and years of monopoly on cashless payment and they did zilch.

Worst still, despite keeping millions of advance amount paid by users and countless unutiised amount from lost cards, they are still charging merchants fees to connect and thus the silly 10% fee charged by merchant for us using TnG to pay.

Seriouslt people, exercise your right. Bury TnG for good

Cyy

To all those with negative comments about TnG, TnG works like NFC in terms of ease, and everyone can get a TnG card but not everyone has a phone with NFC capability. Only certain phones have them.