In May 2018, Progresif launched Progresif PAY, Brunei’s first mobile wallet, thanks to the first-of-its-kind partnership between Progresif and Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam. Progresif subscribers are now able to transfer funds, pay bills, shop online and send money abroad securely and in real time on their mobile device.
“Progresif PAY will change the way we make everyday purchases by transforming payments in a way never seen before in Brunei,” said Progresif CEO Paul Taylor. Powered by BIBD NEXGEN, Progresif PAY creates an alliance between Brunei’s most innovative mobile operator and the country’s best digital bank at the forefront of branchless banking and mobile commerce by improving access and creating opportunities for greater commercial efficiency.
Through Progresif PAY, parents can send allowances to their children while young adults aged 15 and above can use the wallet to better manage their finances. Businesses can use the wallet to accept payments as well as pay staff wages or suppliers directly into their Progresif PAY accounts.
BIBD NEXGEN and the Progresif PAY application will allow Progresif and BIBD to work with companies, institutions and individuals from different industries to develop branchless banking and FinTech related features and applications to create value added services such as payment reminders, money management tools and virtual mobile marketplace.
“This is another example of how Progresif has expanded beyond the traditional definition of a telecommunications company. This time, we are defining the standards for digitisation and e-commerce with Brunei’s first mobile wallet,” said Progresif CEO Paul Taylor.
In the last few years, Progresif has been focussed on innovation throughout its business such as simplifying its pricing plans and removing the annual licence fee, making communications simple, affordable and more accessible, while expanding the network coverage and capacity with the goal of introducing 4G services.
With the introduction of Progresif PAY, Brunei is poised to join the market leaders of mobile payments, including China and Singapore, adding more users to the pool of over 170 million mobile payment users in Asia.
BruPay, a Bruneian registered FinTech company established in 2017, specialises in developing cashless payment systems. It offers consumers and merchants secure and instantaneous payment at their fingertips.
In August 2018, BruPAY gained approval within AMBD’s FinTech regulatory sandbox. BruPay’s eWallet app was launched in November 2018, available on the App Store and Google Play.
With BruPay’s eWallet app, users can send and receive money by scanning QR codes or direct to registered mobile numbers. All users have to do is sign up, verify their account and top up their wallet. Top up options include online bank transfer and cash at participating stores, with more options to be added soon.
There is also the BruPay Merchant app, which aims to give business of all sizes access to e-payment and make merchant-customer transactions more streamlined. In addition, its complement and online portal, BruPay Back Office, allows merchants to digitally measure their performance, tracking all sales and transactions, with the option of daily or monthly reports. For the full merchant suite, business owners are required to register their account with the BruPay business team, who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All transactions conducted on the BruPay platform are free, with BruPay only charging a nominal two per cent withdrawal fee.
“QR code payments have been growing in other parts of the world and many cash-intensive merchants, such as hawkers and taxi drivers, are accepting them. We’re proud that Brunei is heading in that same direction and with the technology BruPay is introducing, paying through QR codes at the pasar malam will soon be a reality,” said BruPay CEO Sophian Mat Suny.
Efficient transportation and logistics are vital to diversify the economy. Brunei’s plus point is having a strategic location within the Southeast Asia region.
In recent years, the government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al- Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam made several initiatives to modernise the transport system. One such initiative was a joint venture by Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd and Beibu Gulf (HK) Ltd to form the Muara Port Company Sdn Bhd in February 2017.
The company operates the Muara Container Terminal, which is the country’s only seaport. Other initiatives included the establishment of the Brunei Darussalam Maritime and Ports Authority (PBMP) in September 2017 as well as the expansion of the Brunei International Airport.
Domestic connectivity is enhanced with the construction of three significant bridge projects. The first is the Sungai Kebun Bridge completed in October 2017 and officially known as the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge. In May 2018, the Pulau Muara Besar Bridge was completed. The Temburong Bridge is set for completion by November 2019.
The Temburong Bridge is the nation’s longest and most ambitious project yet. The bridge stretches 30 kilometres over the Brunei Bay connecting the mainland Brunei-Muara District and the Temburong exclave.
For business and trade, the establishment of PBMP remarkably improved the quality of services at the Muara Port.
Turnaround time saw impressive improvement from 60 minutes to 30 minutes, while the container handling productivity in 2017 increased by 37 per cent.
With its privatisation, the operations at the Muara Port are not only efficient and profitable but the government can now channel millions of dollars per year for other development purposes. The following are Brunei’s three main logistics companies:
BIACC Sdn Bhd (formerly known as Brunei International Air Cargo Centre) is a company jointly owned by RoyalBrunei Airlines (RB) and Royal Brunei Technical Services. In collaboration with Circle Freight International Sdn Bhd, the company handles cargo transiting through the Brunei International Airport.
BIACC’s accreditations include ISO 9001:2008, OHSAS 18001:2007 and IATA Safety Audits for Ground Operations (ISAGO).
Since 2011, BIACC began to form several partnerships with local and international companies to establish subsidiaries and joint ventures in other logistics sectors. These partnerships included Ground Handling Services (Baggage and Passenger), Intermodal Freight Transport and General Sales and Services Agency.
RBA Cargo Services
With over 64,000 square foot of fully equipped space in the cargo complex at the Brunei International Airport, RB offers its own cargo services, integrated with computerised handling and other top-of-the-line technology.
It provides businesses with the country’s best handling and storage for valuable, vulnerable, perishable or customs-bonded cargoes.
Muara Port Company Sdn Bhd (MPC)
With over 90 per cent of global trades transported by sea, the government of His Majesty acknowledges the importance of ports through the establishment of the Muara Port Company.
The company, working as the operator of the Muara Container Terminal (MCT), opens up unlimited opportunities for Brunei to capitalise on its strategic location to become a significant trading hub.
The company signifies not just vast improvements in equipment but also a tremendous boost in services, in line with ambitions to turn Muara Port into a world-class international hub.
MPC aims to enlarge its route networks and increase transit volume, thus gradually improving the influence of Muara Port.
The vast experience of co-owner Beibu Gulf (HK) Ltd proved to be beneficial to MPC and businesses in the country.
Beibu is known as a seasoned handler in port operations and maritime logistics, thus its collaboration with Darussalam Assets will further enhance Muara Port not only as an international hub but a competitive sub- regional port within the BIMP-EAGA region.
Royal Brunei Technical Services
Royal Brunei Technical Services (RBTS) started operations in 1988. The company was initially set up as an acquisition agency to procure equipment for armed forces and security agencies. Three years ago, RBTS re-defined their core business as a provider of Life Cycle Management services.
As a Life Cycle Management company, RBTS provides cradle-to-grave services. RBTS manages every aspect of a project until execution. In the area of Acquisition Management, RBTS undertakes complex systems acquisition. In these projects, RBTS undertakes concept development, conducts the tendering process and assists in the evaluation process. The company reviews the system design and makes improvements until the system is installed and runs smoothly.
RBTS ensures their customers choose a system that fits their needs at affordable costs. As part of its Acquisition Management, RBTS Engineering Services provide maintenance, repair services and system upgrades to optimise system performance. Their Vehicle Maintenance Centre provides specialist vehicle maintenance. In the pipeline is the Electronics Maintenance Centre that caters to providing sensors, sensitive electronics and security system maintenance.
With over three decades of experience, RBTS has developed an extensive supply chain competency. The cargo unit specialises in handling dangerous goods. The also provide freight services via air and sea with door- to-door shipping, custom documentation and clearance.
RBTS has two training centres: Training Simulation Centre (TSC) and Naval Training Centre (NTC). TSC is a high-tech facility aimed at providing simulated arms training for the armed forces, police and security agencies. NTC is a premier maritime centre in Muara.
The company also provides Explosives Handling and Storage services for its oil and gas industry clients. RBTS is the only private company that provides commercial storage for explosives and pyrotechnics in Brunei. To complete the Life Cycle Management concept, disposal of expired pyrotechnics and explosives is essential.
RBTS has several disposal and decommission projects in the pipeline.
Defence and security equipment comes with complex and advanced technology. Thus, a competent work force is vital. One of RBTS’s core values is ‘Our People Our Assets.’ To develop local talents, RBTS trains their staff through mentorship, supervision and on-the-job training. RBTS has been employing local talents since the company started its operations. The company has around 100 staff and all of them are local. The company is keen to work closely with MINDEF’s Centre of Science and Technology Research and Development to develop Defence Supporting Industries in Brunei.
RBTS has made many achievements since its establishment. RBTS has worked closely with MINDEF to organise the Brunei Darussalam Defence Exhibition and Conference (BRIDEX) in 2009, 2011 and 2013. In this event, RBTS invited world-class defence and security industries to exhibit their latest products in Brunei. Senior delegations from all around the world attended the conference. RBTS also established the Small Arms Training Simulation Centre (TSC) through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with MINDEF. The centre provides cost-effective simulated arms training for the country’s military and government security service agencies.
According to RBTS CEO, transforming from an acquisition agency to a Life Cycle Management service provider company has been challenging. With this transformation, RBTS re-structured their organisation taking their customers’ feedback into account.
“With the mist of transformation still lingering over the horizon, 2019 will provide us an opportunity to continue to gain confidence by exploring other markets on the non-defence related sectors,” said RBTS CEO Col (Rtd) Muzri Hj Mokhsin.
The CEO said he aspires to reposition RBTS as a leading engineering company. He also said he would like to collaborate with higher education institutes in research and development.
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