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Digi introduces a Happy Prepaid card that doesn’t physically exist

Happy Prepaid Mastercard

Digi has just announced its new Happy Prepaid but it isn’t the same prepaid service that was launched 10 years ago. This time it’s a digital payment service in a form of a virtual Mastercard.

Essentially, this is a virtual prepaid card that is designed solely for online transactions. Since it is prepaid, you’ll have to reload the card first before performing your online transaction with the provided card details.

The virtual card can be a viable alternative for those who are paranoid about using their actual credit and debit cards online. You can use it for online subscriptions and shopping at e-commerce platforms worldwide as well as topping up your e-wallet.

According to Digi’s Chief Digital Officer, Praveen Rajan, a majority of e-commerce transactions still occur with cash and Digi wants to play their part in assisting people to go cashless, and more importantly, offer them the convenience to do what they want on their devices. The Digi Happy Prepaid Mastercard is managed by Y3llowLabs Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Digi Telecommunications in partnership with MPay and Mastercard.

To reward its users, the Happy card allows you to earn loyalty points when you use it for Grab and Shopee. On top of that, you can collect gems which you can use to redeem special prizes. At the moment, you can’t sign up for Happy prepaid and they are currently collecting registration of interest on their official site. It is expected to go live in the first half of 2019.

It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t Digi’s first attempt at digital payments. The yellow telco had introduced VCash e-wallet more than a year ago. When it comes to virtual prepaid cards, AirAsia has done it before with EZPAY virtual card.

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If we can sum it up, Happy prepaid looks like a “virtual” version of AirAsia’s BigPay card. For a quick refresher, BigPay is a prepaid MasterCard that comes with E-wallet-like features. You can use it to transfer funds by scanning QR codes of other BigPay users and you can view your expenses in real time with monthly analysis.

According to Digi’s Happy prepaid website, the app will push a notification within 15 minutes to keep you posted of your expenses. However, for BigPay, you can get notified immediately after each transaction.

If Digi wants to ride on a prepaid Mastercard, I think it would have made better sense if Digi offered a physical card with paypass support for contactless payments. This will extend its usage to physical stores and Digi could also integrate Vcash into the app for added QR-based payments.

At the moment, there are plenty of E-wallet providers in the market, and e-commerce platforms like Lazada and Shopee have their own wallets as well. On top of that, Lazada even has its own physical prepaid card in partnership with CIMB that offers additional cash rebate.

What do you guys think of this virtual prepaid Mastercard? Is this something you would consider for online transactions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Alexander Wong