So we all know what Touch N Go (TNG) is. It’s one of the more popular forms of prepaid payment because it’s widely accepted in public transports, highways and many stores nationwide.
While you would usually have to purchase a colourful plastic card to enjoy TNG’s services, this time, they’re giving you another option — it’s a watch called the TimeTraveller.
Now I’ve seen a lot of peculiar things in my life, but this has to one of the silliest. Here’s why.
Contactless payment solutions that live on your wrist have been here before. Early this year we saw Maybank and Visa introduce the Visa PayBand which is a payment wearable that takes the form of a sleek and discreet black band. The keywords here are “sleek” and “discreet”.
TNG’s TimeTraveller is a big chunky analogue watch. Also, since it’s a watch, you will have to replace your current watch if you want to use the TimeTraveller. Unless, of course, you want to be one of those people who wears two watches on their wrist.
As a timepiece, TimeTraveller isn’t the prettiest watch out there. In fact, I think it looks more like a cheap, RM10 for 3, Swatch/Baby-G knockoff you’d find in a night market.
Despite that, it’s priced at RM239 (or RM222 on 11street), which means the TimeTraveller is a watch that’s being targetted at people with money to burn. But if you’re someone with money to burn, odds are you’d have something more stylish on your wrist. I honestly can’t see anyone trading in their Daniel Wellingtons for this TimeTraveller.
Oh, and did I mention it costs over RM200?! Well, I’m saying it again. Compared to the RM10 or so you pay for a regular card, RM200+ is an absolute fortune to spend on something that you would then have to top-up more money into just to use it.
What’s worse, can you imagine paying for tolls with this watch? I’ve seen many a soul struggle to reach the TNG reader at a toll booth with their fingertips, I can’t image they’d prefer something that’s on their wrist instead. In fact, in TNG’s promo video, everyone had to hold the TNG reader up for the guy to pay. Trust me, nobody’s going to do that for you in a practical scenario.
There are so many better ways to implement a hassle free payment service. You could take a page out of Visa’s book and make the TimeTraveller a slim discreet band. Or they could’ve made it a sticker that you could stick on your smartphone. Even better, work with smartphone manufacturers to utilise a handset’s onboard NFC receivers instead.
C’mon TNG, what were you thinking?