GO+ was a feature launched on Touch ‘n Go eWallet recently, after it was approved by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) to operate as a Recognised Market Operator (RMO) in January 2021. It’s essentially a low-risk investment that lets users earn daily returns with their balance in the app.
Together with Principal e-Cash, a money market fund managed by Principal Malaysia, they aim to provide investors with liquidity and income.
To establish what kind of investor I am, I’m all for low-risk and stable investments with no time or energy to keep track of my earnings/losses. It’s why I’ve dumped a few thousand Ringgit into my StashAway Simple account (think a non-committal fixed deposit) to earn some interest without much effort on my end.
So, the moment GO+ was launched with a minimum reload of RM10, most of my e-wallet balance went into it. Granted, it was only RM20 because I barely used the app in the first place, but I felt I had nothing to lose anyway.
But I Did Have Little To Gain
What drew me to GO+ was its high liquidity aspect. Not only would I potentially be making some daily returns, but I could also cash out anytime I wanted or spend it directly at tolls and accepting merchants. That means, if I was trying to pay for something with the e-wallet and didn’t have sufficient funds, it would automatically be drawn from GO+.
Cashing out also costs nothing. There are no penalties nor withdrawal fees—at least for now, according to its FAQ. Though, there are management and trustee fees of up to 0.45% and 0.3% per annum each.
Of course, such flexibility comes with its own cons. First off, you won’t be making much on GO+ as its projected return is only at 1.61% (at the time of writing). When I started 5 days ago, it was 1.47%, and I’ve only gained RM0.0029 in earnings after cashing in the initial RM20.
Due to such low returns, GO+ shouldn’t be compared to a fixed deposit where cash is locked in for a stipulated time and cannot be withdrawn. Instead, it should be compared to the interest you’d make from a general savings or current account at the end of the year.
GO+ is actively managed by Principal Malaysia, where investments are made through a combination of cash (at bank), placement of deposits, money market instruments, and debt instruments. That’s according to their Product Highlight Sheet which also stated that investments are generally placed for short durations of high quality to provide the high liquidity offered.
It Ain’t Much, But It’s Honest Work
Once you activate GO+, its icon will be displayed on the app’s homepage just under your e-wallet balance.
Inside, there’ll be options to Cash In and Cash Out, where you can use the balance from your e-wallet or add funds from your bank account. Daily earnings will be credited in your GO+ account the next day for Cash In transactions made before 4PM.
To Cash Out, you’ll have the same options as the former. If it’s to your Touch ‘n Go eWallet, the money will be credited instantly. If it’s to your bank account, the money will be credited after 1 business day, if the request is made before 4PM. As mentioned before, if you’re using your GO+ funds to facilitate payments, the Cash Out amount will be debited to the merchant immediately.
For me, GO+ basically gives me an incentive to keep some funds in my otherwise underutilised e-wallet. It’s not going to earn me much, but it does make me happy knowing that my money isn’t just lazing around, dormant like my toy poodle at home.
And I’m probably not alone in this thinking. In terms of growing its user base, having such a feature can attract more Malaysians to use and stay on the app for its services. Its RM10 minimum reload is also attractive to those unfamiliar with higher risk and longer-term investments, or who don’t have enough funds for them.
One thing to note about Principal e-Cash though is that it’s not a Shariah-compliant fund, but Touch ‘n Go has said that a Shariah-compliant fund option is in the works.
This feature has given Touch ‘n Go eWallet a leg up over its competitors, and it’d be a nice touch for the other e-wallets in Malaysia to follow in its stead.
While its return rate leaves more to be desired, GO+’s introduction to the market further opens up the possibilities of what e-wallets can offer, especially with more of the population switching over to them as a popular cashless option during the pandemic.
Launched in April 2020, this drop-in, invite-only audio chat app Clubhouse is now sweeping over Malaysians’ social media timelines and stories, thanks to Elon Musk joining in recently for the most part.
It ranks 6th on AppStore now, just right behind WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger and other big names, with over 2 million users already. The app is only available for iOS users.
Though the app is only in its beta version, it’s already received a valuation of US$1 billion (around RM4 billion), with more than 180 investors involved.
If you haven’t been invited to join Clubhouse or you use Android, here’s a walkthrough of the app from my experience and what users have said about it so far.
What The App Offers
There are a few barriers to entry for this app because if you want to join, you need to find someone who is both an iOS user and has invites left to give to you.
Each person only gets two invites when they join Clubhouse, so if you want to request an invite for yourself, you probably should ask a close friend who’s willing to give it away.
That being said, you can earn more invites from Clubhouse if you’re active on their platform like listening in rooms, hosting a room, speaking, etc.
Fortunately, our team’s tech lead had invites left on his account, which was how I got to access the app.
Now, the app’s UI is quite simple, you can find conversations that intrigue you and join rooms of interest.
After joining a room, you can add your friends in as well or raise your hands if you want to engage in the conversation. If a room has yet to start, you can also add the event to your Apple or Google calendar.
If you want to start a room, you can create a topic, choose your privacy setting, and add friends. As a host, you control who gets to speak in the room and raise their hand if listeners want to speak.
Though slightly lacking in numbers, I did run into a few Malaysian event rooms like the Bitcoin Satay Club, KL Old Town, and one that I attended for a short while, MCO 2.0 – Proven Ideas For Growing Business that had speakers like Wai Hong from StoreHub and Jes Min of Recommend Group.
For one room, the max number of participants is only up to 5,000.
Thoughts On It From 248k Users
So far, the app has a 4.9-star rating from 248k users, signalling quite a positive experience for many.
These positive reviews state how it feels like a safe space especially for introverts, how it’s like a radio but better, and seeing the value in having verbal conversations over texting.
While many may have felt that it was a safe space for them, there were a lot of reviews on privacy concerns as well, mainly about users feeling uncomfortable over how anyone with their number can find them on the app, and being unable to hide which rooms they’re joining.
Some suggestions that users have for this app is to have a notes section where they can take down notes in a talk, setting a timer to see how long a room has been active, including queues for those who raised their hand, adding a messaging feature, etc.
According to reviews, their customer service is also lacking as they’re slow to reply for problem-solving, and users who found Clubhouse invasive also pointed out the difficulties in deactivating and deleting one’s account.
As For My Thoughts?
Honestly, I’m quite neutral about the app. From what I’ve learnt using the app, I think their social networking concept is cool, but calling it unique would be quite a stretch.
If you’re someone who regularly hosts online networking events or panels, this would be more valuable to you.
For listeners like me, its value stems from the fact that you can follow people of interest in order to keep up with rooms they’re hosting, particularly if you’re passionate over and excited by whatever they have to share.
As I’m not the type to just engage in a verbal conversation with strangers even though we may be like-minded people, I’d prefer jumping into a Twitter or Reddit thread instead.
Something to note is that this app isn’t friendly towards those with hearing impairments who rely on closed captions for online talks. With all kinds of individuals excited to join in, it only feels right that the app can address these issues and promote inclusivity.
So, is this app worth a download? Yes, especially if you’re someone who’s keen on meeting like-minded Internet friends to have verbal conversations with. And of course, if you have someone to invite you first.
As an average adult who just graduated and is now working her first job, I do try to look to a few small things I can do for an extra bit of money.
I’m using a similar app now called Milieu for a week now, which gives you voucher rewards to redeem from the points you earn through completing surveys.
The reality with these apps is that they don’t actually pay much, and it takes a long time to get any attractive incentives out of them. But people, including myself, would still use these apps.
In our review of Fuhla, we found that even though the monetary incentive of using the app was really low, we discovered apps that we could actually use and keep, which is quite similar to how I feel about Milieu.
How It Works
I downloaded Milieu because of the rewards it offered just from taking surveys. These rewards are practical ones like GrabFood and GrabRide vouchers, Lazada or Shopee vouchers, Touch ‘n Go eWallet top-up vouchers, and more.
The higher your points, the higher the value of the voucher rewards. But getting to even the first reward, which is an RM15 Grab voucher, is going to take forever.
An RM15 GrabFood voucher reward is 11,500 points, and I’m currently at 1,400 only. I’ve done 3 surveys so far because I didn’t check in regularly to keep up with filling surveys.
So it seems like every survey gives me about 400-500 points, and if I want to get to that first reward, it’s going to be around another 28 surveys for me to go.
However, they only upload surveys 2-3 times a week, so you can’t just zoom your way through to earn points and claim rewards.
In fact, a cute way for them to ensure you’re not zooming through questions is including random questions like “1+1=?” or “Is a freezer to make things hot or cold?” in their surveys.
Besides surveys, there are polls for you to fill in the app as well, but they don’t add to the reward points that you can collect.
The surveys and polls in the app are all tailored to your demographic details, which they’ll take in their first survey.
The Money Didn’t Make Me Stay But Insights Did
I’ve already accepted by now that I’m not getting much rewards-wise from this app, but it’s the polls that kept me scrolling for much longer than I thought I would.
I found their polls more interesting to engage with because they’re actually topics relevant to me. So in a way, I get to learn more about opinions Malaysians have on different things like current news, pop culture, lifestyle, relationships, etc.
Work-related topics are also in most of these sections, which made me even more intrigued. For all these polls, they also include a recent article on top to help us gauge the relevance of the questions.
Some of these topics include:
- How would you feel if your romantic partner gets a pay raise?
- Which factor do you think contributes most to workplace stress in Malaysia?
- How important is it to have a university/college degree/diploma to get a job?
I’m not going to lie, finding out the general Malaysian opinion on all kinds of topics have been more addicting than I expected it to be. Believe it or not, it almost feels like scrolling through social media.
The anonymity on the app makes its results seem more reliable to me, as odd as that sounds. People are less shy to be honest with their opinions on various topics since they’re protected by anonymity.
A Small Thing It Can Improve On
One minor inconvenience I found about their surveys is that there’s no back button for you to go back and change your answer if you realised it should’ve been something else.
I think having that option is very important because it helps increase the accuracy of the surveys.
I’m generally quite happy about this app overall, to the point that I’m not interested in their rewards as much and actually take my time to answer their surveys and polls, and actually read the articles included in them.
But one thing I am curious about though is what the majority demographic of their Malaysian users is right now. It’d be interesting to see if opinions really differed on certain topics across gender, race and religion.
I think that’s worth disclosing in general at least, so that I’m able to better understand the poll and survey results with enough context.
Well, what I can say for sure about this experience is BRB Facebook, Twitter and IG—I’m getting my daily dose of social media somewhere else.
- You can read more about other opinion articles we’ve written about here.
Featured Image Credit: Milieu app
Who among us didn’t feel a little bit weak at the knees at the prospect of a more interconnected Malaysia?
After all, it seems like a game changer for WiFi availability in Malaysia.
With 5,800 WiFi points available to connect to nationwide, TM is even getting the ball rolling by offering free use up until 31st December 2017. After that, WiFi is only 10 cents an hour.
Users should be able to enjoy up to 4 Mbps of internet connectivity using any of their WiFi hotspots.
I booted my Google Play app today and downloaded i-foundit!, in a bid to try out the WiFi services offered. Hey, free is free, and I’m Malaysian.
Too bad the two WiFi hotspots of walking distance from where I was didn’t work.
But let me start at the beginning.
The i-foundit! app is basically a WiFi discovery platform.[caption id="attachment_622227" align="alignnone" width="758"] Image Credit: i-foundit! on Google Play[/caption]
Here’s what you’ll need to make this app work for you.
- An android smartphone (until TM launches the iOS equivalent)
- At least some form of internet connectivity
- Map-reading skills
- A Facebook or Google Plus account
When you boot up the app, it will prompt you to log into Facebook or Google Plus. Once this is done, the app will now show you a map with your location.
The orange symbols around the blue dot (me), were all the WiFi hotspots supposedly available for me to connect to.
And once you choose which WiFi spot to connect to, (and have actually walked into WiFi range) the app will prompt you to enable WiFi, and connect to wifi@unifi the usual way. We’re not sure what happens after, which we’ll go into.
If you wanted to, you could theoretically just walk around with your device until you see a wifi@unifi to connect to.
You could also attempt to connect to the network on any WiFi-enabled device, even though the app is exclusively available on Google Play and iOS, because you don’t technically need the app for more than locating hotspots.
But the app is, of course, an elegant solution—that is, if the WiFi actually worked.
Based on my location, there were two WiFi spots at a lazy-man’s walking distance, so I headed towards the closest one.
And I couldn’t find it.
Maybe Skyrim didn’t build my map-reading skills enough, because while the app was accurately able to chart where I was as I walked, I could never quite find the store that supposedly held the WiFi hotspot I was seeking.
So I tried standing at where I thought the WiFi hotspot would be (though never close enough apparently), and enabled my WiFi to look for the connection.
There was nary a wifi@unifi to be seen.
A little frustrated, I was still determined to test out this newly launched WiFi service, so, I tried walking to the slightly further WiFi hotspot, which was located near a large bank chain.
It should be noted at this point that if I temporarily disabled the app to look at, say messages, and went back into it, I’d have to relogin through Facebook every time.
It got a bit tedious, and I can imagine those with slow data who would actually be hunting down WiFi hotspots would be a little frustrated by this, as it would slow their phone down.
Furthermore, I did find myself being a little confused. The app that was supposed to give me internet still requires internet for it to work. Counterproductive, no?
And just to add insult to injury, the app’s interface glitched every now and again, especially when it came to loading the locations.[caption id="attachment_622223" align="alignnone" width="400"] I don’t think this was meant to happen.[/caption]
This time, I was able to position myself right in the middle of the orange marker, and booted up my WiFi listings.[caption id="attachment_622224" align="alignnone" width="809"] The blue dot is me, the orange pop-ups are the wifi hotspots.[/caption]
Nope. Still nothing.
I even tried walking around back and forth to see if it would appear, but I never was able to find that elusive connection between my phone, and wifi@unifi before I gave up and made my way back.
While my quest ended there, my discoveries were only just beginning.
Apparently, I was not the only one excited to try out this new service, because there is quite a stream of disappointed users on the reviews page.[caption id="attachment_622222" align="alignnone" width="637"] Google Play reviews of i-foundit![/caption]
In fact, I was surprised to discover that I was actually one of the luckier ones when it came to using the app. Some other reviewers couldn’t get the app to work at all, while others found that the real-time locator left a lot to be desired.
I was also inclined to agree regarding the user-friendliness as it did take me a bit of fiddling to figure out how the app was meant to work.
All in all, I still think that this is a great move by TM. I just also think that they could have done with at least 1 more month of testing and developing prior to launch.
After all, this might just be growing pains. Perhaps the surge in interested users caused some of the newly installed equipment to malfunction. Or perhaps, some of the WiFi hotspots have yet to be activated.
But I would also argue this: if you are going to launch something to as much fanfare as i-foundit!’s was, shouldn’t you also anticipate the surge in users post-launch?
After all, many app developers would agree that having these types of issues during the beginning does not paint a pretty picture for this venture that would otherwise be so useful—if it worked.
Android users, you can try your luck with the i-foundit! app here.