GHL mulls payment card terminal

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By TMR

GHL Systems Bhd sees opportunity in the payment card terminal and e-wallet space in Malaysia and the region as consumers increasingly move away from cash payment.

Group CEO Danny Leong (picture) said the company is ready to tap into the growing payment card terminal in the country in line with Bank Negara Malaysia’s target of 25 terminals per 1,000 inhabitants by 2020.

To date, Leong said Malaysia has only achieved 50% of the target, or about 12 terminals per 1,000 people, which are provided by banks and non-bank players such as GHL.

“The opportunity is great. We are working with the banks to grow their numbers in acquiring smaller merchants, as well as expanding our own footprints,” he said after the company’s AGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

At present, Leong said Malaysia has over 400,000 terminals nationwide, of which 68,000 are provided by GHL, 100,000 units by Paysys (M) Sdn Bhd — the company that GHL is acquiring — and the remaining terminals majority owned by banks.

In South-East Asia, the payment service provider has 180,000 acceptance points, excluding the volume owned by Paysys.

Its Malaysian operation currently contributes 85% of GHL’s revenue and the remaining 15% comes from overseas, but the growth is faster in its Asean markets.

Leong said revenue from Thailand and the Philippines have increased by 50% and 30% respectively every year.

“We want to increase our presence in Asean by entering new markets such as Myanmar and Cambodia, either through merger and acquisition or joint venture with local partners. Our businesses in Thailand and the Philippines remain very strong,” Leong added.

GHL aims at acquiring 1,000 to 1,500 merchants every month across its top three countries, namely Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

On its e-wallet ambition, Leong said GHL has signed up with five local e-wallet issuers, in addition to Alipay, China’s leading mobile and online payment solution backed by Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.

In January, the company commenced offering Alipay payment acceptance services in the Philippines, the third Asean country after Malaysia and Thailand that GHL has tied-up with Alipay to offer quick response code payment option to merchants.

GHL has started acquiring merchants for Alipay in Malaysia in April last year and Thailand in the second quarter of 2016.

“We are helping on the infrastructure, while the e-wallet issuers work on the consumer side. It’s now or never to get the consumers onboard. The base is there, but it requires a change in consumer behaviour from using cash,” Leong said.

Malaysia currently has more than 40 e-wallet providers in the market.

On the proposed RM87 million capital raising exercise, Leong said the company is still evaluating on the interested parties, as well as the price fixing.