Archive | February, 2016

eForex – Mobile Currency Exchange in Malaysia

So recently I’ve tried out this new app from Merchantrade (the largest money exchange network in Malaysia) called eForex enables mobile currency exchange in Malaysia. The app allows you check live rates and book at that rate from the app itself, you can then pick up the money at one of their branches around KL.

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

Introduction

The app is designed to make it easier for people who travel frequently for business or leisure to buy currency on the go and pick it up at their convenience, I think it would be especially useful if you needed more than 1 currency type for a trip and wanted to pick it up.

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

Also if you needed something that’s often out of stock at the regular money changer (like JPY) you can book it using the app.

The main features are:

  • Over 20 preferred currencies to choose from
  • Live currency exchange rates
  • Set favourite currencies
  • Rate alerts notifications
  • Pick up point selector
  • Currency calculator
  • Secure online payments (FPX and MEPS)
  • Browse transaction history
  • Travel reminder

The alert features, booking money etc are only available after signing up for the app.

eForex App Review

The Good

Overall the app can make getting foreign currency arranged convenient and take the stress out of it (Midvalley parking?). Also you don’t have to worry about driving somewhere and them not having the currency you want.

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

Main positive points for me would be:

  • It’s very convenient to check the current exchange rates even if you aren’t buying currency right now.
  • The app makes getting foreign currency really convenient, especially if the pick-up location is near you or your office and you get get there easily.
  • Rate alert feature is great if you are waiting for a certain currency to drop, or you want to buy it before it gets too expensive.
  • You can set a travel reminder in the app so you can get your currency in time.

The Ok

The rates provided are ok, better than the bank, but the ‘famous’ money-changers in malls are slightly better. I got a marginally better rate at my nearest Tesco as I was shopping there anyway and I didn’t realise the app needed a 3-day window between booking and collection (I wanted to collect the same day or the next day).

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

Some kind of faster collection as a premium service would be better I think, and delivery would be great too.

The app is quite quick to load and responsive to use, and intuitive in most part.

Other

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

There are a few minor aspects outside of the core functionality that I’d like to see improved in the app, mainly:

  • Increase the duration in between each session expiry to minimize constant re-login. A sign-up function via Facebook or Google Account would be a cool add-on.
  • Branch search could show adjacent areas ordered by distance from my current location – so when I searched for where I live, it will show the nearest results.
  • A buy/order feature from the favourites screen would be an added advantage.
  • When you go to book currencies, your favourite currencies should be at the top of the list.

It’d also be great if the sign-up was a lot easier, like you only need to enter passport number etc if you want to book currency – then it saves it. Sign-up with Facebook/Google for a faster on-ramp just to use the rate alert features.

I think this would get more people using the app as registered users.

Conclusion

Overall it’s a decent app, with some minor functionality and UX improvements it could be very useful. If you want to check exchange rates often it’s worth a look and they offer decent rates if one of the branches is convenient for you check it out.

The app is available here:

eForex Android
eForex Apple

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Singapore Craft Beer: Smith Street Taps @ Chinatown Complex

What is more fitting in Asia than having draught craft beer in a food court! It doesn’t get much more rustic than that, and that’s what Smith Street Taps delivers – you can have a pint of freshly kegged IPA with your satay and claypot chicken rice.

An all-taps popup beer hawker stall featuring around 10 premium and craft beers on tap in Singapore’s Chinatown.

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

Downside, as with any foodcourt in a tropical country – it’s bloody warm! But then again, it makes the cold beer even better.

Smith Street Taps is a little tricky to find, so allocate a few extra minutes to make your way there. If you Uber or take a Taxi get them to drop you at the Chinatown Complex, then make your way up to the 2nd floor (or 1st for if you’re British) you’ll find the stall at #62.

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

It won’t be too hard to find once you get in the vicinity, just follow the throngs of people drinking high-quality beer in proper glassware and you’ll find it eventually. If you go fairly late, the rest of the food court will be deserted anyway.

They have around 10 taps, which rotate fairly fast – especially if there’s only one keg of something. You might reach there, decide to try something and it’s finished by the time you reach the front of the queue! It’s self service (not table service) obviously, so depending on what just kegged and if it’s near last call – there can be quite a queue.

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

The range of beer is pretty impressive with beers from Japan, Sweden, USA, England, Scotland, Germany and Denmark on tap when I was there. Plus a good variety of styles from fairly light ales and wheats up to eye watering triple IPAs and imperial stouts.

The setup is pretty bare bones, with what is basically a bunch of kegerators with towers on top (2 taps on each fridge), but from what I saw it’s run properly with all connectors, taps and tubes being sanitized during keg changes to prevent contamination (the kind of things that are important to any beer geek worth his salt).

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

As for opening hours, due to the food court regulations it’s not open too late – last call is at 10:15pm and closing is at 10:30pm. So it’s a good spot to head for dinner and a nice beer before heading off somewhere else open a bit later (like Nickledime or Druggists)

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

Overall I had a good experience at Smith Street Taps and would recommend it, good beer served well in a proper Asian environment. It’s a must visit for tourists and a nice option for people from Singapore and Malaysia to have some cheaper food with great beer on draught.

Prices are reasonable, starting all the down at $6 for macro beer (Sapporo) and the rest around around $14-17 for a US Pint – which represents good value for high quality beer.

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

We had a good time there and I look forwards to visiting again. I mainly went because they were closed on my last trip due to Beerfest Asia 2015 preparation and also they kegged their own beer, a session IPA collaboration brew with Hitachino made in Japan and brewed with koji.

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

Thank you Smith Street Taps, I will see you again.

Beers I drank here were:

– Hitachino X Smith Street Sumisu Sutoreeto
– Dugges Two Packed
– Stone Double Bastard Ale
– Tempest Red Eye Flight

Facebook: Smith Street Taps
Twitter: @smithsttaps
Address: 335 Smith Street, #02-062, Chinatown Complex, Singapore 050335
Phone: +65 9430 2750
Opening Hours: 6.30pm-10.30pm Tueday-Saturday
Ratebeer location: Smith Street Taps | Singapore – RateBeer

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