Author’s Blurb: Whenever I think of buying expensive gadgets or anything else of high value, I always go to a physical store. I do my best to keep my online purchases from marketplaces like mudah.my and Carousell limited to RM200 and less, as there’s always a nagging feeling at the back of my head that I’m somehow going to get scammed out of my money.
But although this has fortunately not happened to me, Prepay’s founder knows this pain all too well.
It took founder Nik Azri the misfortune of being scammed out of a second-hand laptop for him to kickstart a more transparent way of doing business online. Because of this, he and his co-founders launched Prepay in early 2019.
Vulcan Post managed to snag co-founder TsunJeck Lim, or Jeck, for an interview to discuss this platform’s importance.
“Not everyone has the time to meet up with sellers or the luxury to visit a physical store or shopping mall. With Prepay, we want everyone to trade online safely,” Jeck told us.
Shop With Peace Of Mind
Prepay works as an online escrow service that keeps both buyers and sellers safe from scams, with its service acknowledged by BNM and MDEC IDE-compliant.
Editor’s Update: Parts of the above paragraph have been amended to reflect greater accuracy.
First, both parties would register themselves on Prepay and once a deal has been struck, the seller will send a shortlink for payment to the buyer.
The seller will also subsequently deliver the goods to the buyer. All the while, the money will be held by Prepay in escrow.
Only once the buyer confirms that their goods have been safely delivered to their doorstep will Prepay release the payment to the seller, and the transaction is complete.
Prepay also allows for buyers and sellers to monitor delivery status and item details from the backend of their dashboard whilst the whole transaction is taking place.
Although they’re more popular with marketplaces, Prepay is a standalone payment solution that does not rely on any platform.
“Sellers can chat with buyers on any social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. and proceed with payment,” Jeck told us.
So what happens if you do get scammed?
In that situation, all you need to do is to notify Prepay’s live chat services or send them an email with the proper evidence (chat history, proof of purchase, etc.) and they’ll work to get your money back to you.
At the very start, they also encourage the buyers to take a video of the unboxing to ensure that the product is received as advertised.
Speaking to Jeck however, he assured us that this isn’t just a service that favours the buyers and disregards the sellers.
“Once the item has been delivered according to the estimated time of delivery, Prepay allows the buyer a 24-hour period to confirm order, where the payment will be transferred to the seller even if no actions are taken.”
Their partnership with Delyva courier services ensures that they’re always able to track the parcels’ progress in order to make sure both parties are satisfied.
It’s worthwhile to note that existing companies like AirAsia’s Teleport and Boost have actually also gotten in on the unique payment link game recently, so it seems like Prepay now has some pretty direct competition with big brands.
Getting Ahead Of The Curve
I still had one more thing to ask though. Platforms like Carousell have already integrated their own escrow service called ‘Carousell Protection’ in an effort to safeguard buyers.
Surely, more online marketplaces can’t be that far behind?
More importantly, what’s Prepay going to do to make sure that they’re not left in the dust if this happens?
“Our goal is to bring a specialised product into the mass market so our users can buy and sell everywhere without worry. Features like Carousell Protection is only limited to their own users and for specific categories, but Prepay is available to everyone,” Jeck told us.
Apart from physical products, Prepay also supports buying and selling digital goods such as in-game credits and game accounts (where Carousell Protection does not), domain names, motor vehicles, and milestone transactions for the service providers.
Furthermore, Jeck told us that they’re always looking towards innovative features.
“Since we are an early stage startup, we are still flexible at pivoting our business strategy depending on the needs of our customers. At this stage, I can only say that online marketplace is not our only pathway to grow, our aim is to become a payment solution that makes life better,” he continued.
At the moment, they’re developing features such as an easier shortlink to share with customers, e-wallet integration, real time courier tracking as well as an automated invoice generator.
“In the next 2 years, Prepay aims to be the most trusted and safest payment solution on the market serving both the ecommerce and service provider markets,” Jeck said.
Bottom Line: In terms of solving a problem, I do think Prepay hits the nail on the head. I just wish I’d have known about them earlier so I could’ve saved all that time wasted actually hunting down physical retailers. I definitely see myself shopping more comfortably after this, for sure.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Prepay