FriMi: The Digital Wallet in Sri Lanka
A digital wallet is a service, relatively new however not so old either.
We do have leading organizations like Google, Samsung, and Apple with their payment service made for their platforms. They're good services but not entirely available to everyone due to country availability and retail partnerships.
None of the payment services provided by the above-mentioned companies are currently supported in Sri Lanka yet. An alternative was not available until recently.
FriMi to enhance your digital lifestyle, powered by Nations Trust Bank
FriMi Mobile App
A bold move for a financial banking institution to offer a digital wallet service to fellow locals, a first of it's kind.
A curious question is how successful this would be in Sri Lanka? One would require a good user base as well as retail businesses to drive this success. A good user base isn't enough to attract more attention; you would need to offer more. FriMi has done an excellent job so far, more below as to how.
|What FriMi Offers|
|Make money transfers to other bank accounts.|
|Top up your FriMi virtual card by bank transfer, online Internet banking, or agent, and other methods.|
|Ability to pay for select utility bill payments.|
|Interest rates based on your wallet.|
|Ability to spend in retail stores by using your FriMi ID, mobile number, NFC, QR or token code.|
|User security via PIN, fingerprint, or voice recognition.|
|Add any Nations Trust Bank account to your FriMi account, as well as select bank accounts or cards.|
|Notifications of credit/debit transactions and payment requests.|
|Customer service that is available 24 hours for your assistance.|
"My attention to FriMi is because that it offers a virtual debit card, which works just like any other physical credit or debit card. Coupled with the number of offers and discounts FriMi pushes - which is great as it's not the kind of promotions you would ignore but would actually think to go for."
FriMi's Registration Process
FriMi's registration is straightforward. From your side, it first starts as posing for the camera as photo verification, scanning your National Identity Card (NIC) or driving license, and then entering a few details (employment status, address as such). You are then requested to type in your very own FriMi ID, which you'll use throughout with FriMi.
I registered to FriMi around mid of May this year, and the registration involved a human verification check where an agent requested for a video call to verify if what I said matches with the details I have entered during registration. Once all formalities were complete, my account was activated for full use.
In the unfortunate side of things, foreign residents are not able to register for a FriMi account due to strict regulations from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Hope that changes soon.
The UI is pretty decent for the most part. It works fast, and I haven't faced a hiccup when navigating around its functions. A little more polish would be nice, after all, it's a mobile digital wallet that you're supposed to use on a daily basis, the design representation could do with an improvement for a more enjoyable UX experience.
FriMi UI - Overview
FriMi UI - Card
FriMi UI - Information
Real World Usage
Making use of FriMi around the city depends on how many retail outlets support FriMi. Luckily there are quite a few.
FriMi Supported Merchants - Many More Available
A recent attempt to make a transaction from Keells Super was as follows:
|Step 1 - Informed cashier agent of FriMi as the payment method.|
|Step 2 - Cashier requests for your mobile number.|
|Step 3 - A payment request notification comes to your FriMi app, with the merchant and amount shown to confirm or deny the transfer.|
It's a simple process. I have yet to find a merchant to pay via QR code and NFC; usually the merchant requests for your mobile number to send the payment request.
Also, the agent at Keells Super printed out the bill and asked for my signature, which I found it an unnecessary intervention process.
Offers & Promotions
FriMi - Promotions Shown via App
FriMi is intense with promotions. Of course, it's the new kid in the block, and it must find it's way towards recognition.
You'd often see promotions that include cash back of 5%, 25%, 35%, 40% from select merchants. I have also noticed that FriMi is quite enthusiastic in promoting cash-backs at the Fairway Colombo Street Food Festival, which occasionally happens during the weekends. That I don't mind as I'm a big fan of food and spending on food is always worth the money. Keep it coming with the food discounts, FriMi!
Other types of discounts would include cashback for bills, clothing, merchandise and recently taxi discount with PickMe. These all come under the category of Lifestyle, which FriMi aims for.
FriMi - Discounts Sent as SMS
FriMi is very active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as notifications/SMS of discounts, so it's easy to spot these promotions and I believe they're quite famous too.
I think FriMi is great. It's of course not going to replace your physical card entirely yet; however, this addition does bring convenience to your digital lifestyle. Discounts and promotions are what makes FriMi more enjoyable to use, and I think it just works. Focused on lifestyle, there are features it can have further, like an overview of your expenses organized by category (food, transportation, bills, and so forth.) - little things to make it stand out even more.
So if you're interested, please find the links below to get on the FriMi train!
— All the best to the FriMi team!