Riding Out the Business Storm in a Digital World


iPay88 co-founder and executive director Chan Kok Long shares why a crisis is always the best catalyst for innovation.


 iPay88 Malaysia

While he helped create a payment gateway solution, Chan doesn’t care for online shopping.— Pic courtesy of TM SME BizFest Facebook Page


Chan Kok Long confesses that he doesn’t shop online. Hard to believe? There’s more: he also hates being in front of the computer for too long. But what’s even more astounding is that this doesn’t stop him from creating something that will simplify online shopping.


Chan is the co-founder and executive director of payment gateway system iPay88.


A payment gateway system is a merchant service (which in turn is supported by an e-commerce application service provider) that authorizes credit card or direct payment processing for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and clicks, or traditional bricks and mortar.


(Bricks and clicks are businesses with physical and online presence while traditional brick-and-mortar establishments mainly comprise physical premises.)


iPay88 Malaysia

Much of the human business activities are happening online these days.


With a background in sales and marketing, and working very closely with various customers, partners and agencies in shaping the e-commerce landscape locally and regionally, Chan has over 25 years of experience in online businesses. He saw and seized the opportunity for payment gateway services.


“Young people already have no need to go to shops. With the Internet, you can see a product, its colour, and even get a 360-degree view of it,” said Chan at Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM)’s SME BizFest 2017 in Kuching recently.



Disruption is the new norm 


“Disruption is really about opportunities. Before disruption, there is a crisis. But every industry has an opportunity or danger. You have to decide which is it that you see,” said Chan at the event.


iPay88 Malaysia

Chan is a regular speaker at seminars.— Pic courtesy of iPay88 Facebook Page

“Why and what creates industry disruption? It is technology, and it disrupts what we do. We must embrace it. It changes the way we behave and do business. The other ‘disruptor’ is broadband. Thank people like (those at) TM who provide all the convenience and speed (of broadband) that consumers enjoy. If TM doesn't invest, we won’t progress,” explained Chan.


“For businesses to succeed, there has to be a disruption whereby one would be able to create a service that will, in turn, create new market and solutions.”


Examples are e-hailing app Uber and the local equivalent, Grab, as well as cross-platform instant messaging service WhatsApp.



Riding the digital wave 


iPay88 was set up about 10 years ago. A leading regional Payment Gateway Provider, iPay88 is used in Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

A wholly Malaysian-made service, the success of iPay88 is due to the increasing number of people and companies conducting online shopping and e-commerce activities.


iPay88 Malaysia

Online shopping is becoming easier, thanks in part to seamless payment system such as iPay88.


It commands more than 60% of market share for online payment gateway business.


Companies using iPay88 include large conglomerates, government-linked companies, SMEs and even SOHOs (small office/home office). Among them are Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan, Tokio Marine, Tunetalk.com, The Star Publications and Digi.


Chan surmised that based on generational traits, only 50% of Gen Xers buy online compared to 70% Gen Y and ‘100% Alpha’.


“The next disruptor is globalization. You don’t just sell (your products) domestically. You must look at the global market. You also have to look at the generation now. We have Gen Y, Gen Z and Gen Alpha. I’m a Gen X and I get stressed easily looking at the computer while the younger generation does everything online. Understanding these behaviours is key to designing and fulfilling a need and what a business can solve.”


Due to the commitment and dedication of the company, it recently won two awards: the Global Responsible Business Leadership Awards 2017 for “ICT Business Strategy Excellence“, and the MyClear Malaysian e-Payments Excellence Awards for “Top FPX Acquirer (Non-Bank)”.


And the outlook for iPay88 will be brighter in tandem with the nation’s positive e-commerce outlook.


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