SOCASH: A Debit Card Alternative that Works with Payment Processors and Merchants to Provide Easy Access to Cash



Source: cardrates

In a Nutshell: As many consumers gravitate to cards and contactless payment systems, cash remains king in many markets around the world. One problem for cash users is that they have to withdraw money at a bank branch or ATM. In several Asia-Pacific markets, consumers can use SOCASH to withdraw funds at merchant locations rather than ATMs. The service offers the convenience of a debit card with the benefits of cash. The businesses that partner with SOCASH also earn money instead of paying interchange fees.

Financial services corporations are focused on digital transformation. That’s why cards and contactless payment systems have emerged as more secure and convenient payment methods.

However, in certain parts of the world, including many Asian countries, many consumers and businesses still prefer cash. That may include consumers visiting an out-of-the-way bank branch or an expensive out-of-network ATM to get it.

SOCASH has emerged as a bridge between those markets in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Its cardless, contactless mobile app provides consumers the benefits of technology with the convenience of cash.

SOCASH partners with merchants and real-time payment (RTP) processors to transform retail store locations into banks. Consumers use an onscreen SOCASH barcode or QR code — not a debit card — to withdraw cash from their accounts at a merchant’s register.

Despite data everywhere showing the rise of cards and contactless payments, the amount of cash in circulation is growing, not shrinking. According to SOCASH, anywhere between 60% and 85% of transactions in its markets are in cash.

In addition to the convenience for users, the SOCASH system works because it solves several problems for banks and merchants.

“Cash management, including setting up and replenishing ATMs, turns out to be expensive for banks,” said SOCASH CEO Hari Sivan. “In the U.S., J.P. Morgan spends close to $1 billion a year running ATMs and moving cash around its branches. And a pizza shop, at the end of the day, will have excess cash it needs to deposit into a bank account.”

The SOCASH model reduces friction by paying the merchant to dispense cash to consumers — and save everyone money.

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