[Singapore] soCash Review – Maybe Not So Dead After All? As At Jan 2020
I wrote about soCash a bit over a month ago.
At the time, there were some worrying signs emerging from the soCash camp:
- The removal of PayLah as a payment method
- The removal of all 7-Elevens from the soCash app
- The change from cash rebates to points rebates
As I always say, things happen for a reason. From above, the most obvious reason is probably point #3. This one is simply to cut cost/reduce expenses, which whilst unfortunate for consumers, makes perfect sense from their point of view.
#1 and #2 were, in my opinion, much harder to justify. #1 made it such a seamless way to do the transactions and #2 was a downgrade. You’ve taken out your largest partner from the app. How much less attractive is it to now use your app? Having said that, to be fair, 7-Eleven was never where I did my soCash transactions, as a purchase was required for a withdrawal.
Since that post, things have changed (for the better!)
#2 is no longer true – 7-Elevens are back on the app!
#3 is now, partially, no longer true. They still have some sort of weekly target which gets you additional rebates, but they’ve now reverted to something much closer to the previous system too, where you would get a cash rebate on your next withdrawal, without having to accumulate multiple transactions. In fact, it’s kind of become a hybrid.
I haven’t fully understood the weekly target – but it’s to do with making X transactions within a week. I presume it also follows a week starting Monday.
The cash rebate is also now superior to what it was immediately prior to them switching to the points system. Each withdrawal, from my experience of having used it again over the last few weeks, will get you a cash rebate of either $0.50, $1, or $3. This is in addition to qualifying for the weekly transactions, which gets you a further $1 rebate.
In summary, here is what I now understand the system to be:
- Each transaction of $30+ will get you a $0.50, $1 or $3 rebate
- You are limited to 2 transactions per shop (no change from prior)
- You are limited to 6 transactions per day (no change from prior)
- You are limited to 2 rebates per day (different – improved from the points system, but lower than when they offered 6x rebates per day, although those rebates were typically $0.30 each)
- On transactions 3-6 of $30+, you’ll get an error message saying, “we have run out of cashback temporarily!”, which I think is just their polite/cryptic way of saying, “customers only receive cashback for their first 2 transactions of $30+ per day”
- You also have a weekly target, where (I think) you earn 5 points per transaction, and 30 points per week gets you an additional $1 rebate
So is soCash useful again? I’d say yes. This was never the type of “deal” to get you rich, but it’s a deal that was always “reliable” – and gets you $1-6/day from 2 transactions. It’s also very low risk.
Phone Calls I Received from soCash “Questioning My Behaviour”
A few weeks ago, when I started doing this, it was kind of interesting because I received a phone call from soCash asking me to explain the multiple transactions I was making. It wasn’t aggressive or impolite at all, but it was also somewhat bemusing.
It seems someone at soCash has been told to go around and ask people why they are making multiple transactions. In fact, as part of the question, they made it partially a multiple choice question for me by adding, “is it because the merchant did not have enough cash, so you withdrew multiple times?”
See, this question in itself is odd. I withdraw from the same merchant twice, and I always withdraw $30. Going off what I’ve explained above, the reasons are absolutely obvious. My point is this question doesn’t make sense because if the merchant doesn’t have enough cash, why am I withdrawing from the same merchan $30 twice, as opposed to $60 once? That should be the real question to ask.
In any case, I gave them an extremely direct and straightforward answer: I am making multiple transactions because you are incentivising customers to make multiple transactions to increase the chance of receiving cashback. There is literally no other reason. It’s not rocket science.