Celcom customers should stop using the Boost app

In February 2018, I installed an app called Boost.

Boost is an app-based mobile wallet, from Axiata Digital Ecode Sdn Bhd. The mobile app offers a convenient way to pay, send, request and store money in one’s smartphone. You can read more about it here- https://www.malaysianwireless.com/2018/02/boost-mobile-wallet-celcom-axiata/

I am a Celcom customer. Celcom and Boost are both a subsidiary of the Axiata Group, however both companies operate independently.

When I installed the Boost app, the first thing I notice was that Boost has access to my data usage and bill payment. Screenshots below.


This came shocking to me as I have never given Celcom any consent to share my PERSONAL DATA USAGE and BILLING DETAILS to Boost.

So I emailed Boost customer service and got an immediate reply from the COO of Axiata Digital Ecode. Here’s part of the email below from the COO:

With regards to your email received by our Customer Experience Team dated Monday, February 12th 2018 time stamp 3:59PM, below are our response:

When you sign up with Boost, in order to serve the Customer better in terms of Experience and overall Lifestyle Boost services, we will explore potential collaboration with 3rd party service provider. In this case, we are collaborating with Celcom for Bill Payment services.

The consent to share and processing of personal information is stated in the Boost Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy under the Boost website. Both links are shared below:

Terms & Conditions

Boost’s Merchant Privacy Notice

For the purpose of quick reference, excerpt below T&C:

“The Services are made available by Boost to you at its sole and absolute discretion and by using the Services upon Activation including but not limited to, purchasing any product and/or services on the App, you unconditionally: –

(a) acknowledge that you have read and fully understood these Terms and Conditions and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions;

(b) consent to Boost using and processing your personal information and data in accordance with Boost’s Privacy Policy which can be found at www.myboost.com.my.

Any person that you allow to access the Service using your Account shall also be bound by these Terms and Conditions. If you do not accept these Terms and Conditions, please do not continue with the registration process or Activation or the use of this Service(s)”

The reason why I said Celcom customers should stop using Boost is because only data of Celcom customers are shared with Boost. This doesn’t apply to customers of Maxis, U Mobile, Unifi Mobile and Digi.

Celcom in its Privacy Notice said:

4.3.4: We may disclose your Personal Data to our subsidiaries, parent company Axiata Group Berhad or any other entity who processes your Personal Data for the purposes as outlined in paragraph 4.2.1- https://www.celcom.com.my/legal/privacy-notice

4.2.1 involves subscription, billing, payment, network…basically all your activities with Celcom. Does this mean that Boost have access to all these information as well?

Who knows what other customer data does Boost has access to, perhaps your call history, the content of the SMS you sent/receive, the websites that you visit? What kind of access do they have to Celcom?

As Boost said in its Terms, “If you do not accept these Terms and Conditions, please do not continue with the registration process or Activation or the use of this Service(s)“.

Here are the reasons why I will be uninstalling the Boost app today (took me so long because I gave them time to fix this):

  1. I didn’t even use the Boost app once to make payment because they wasn’t able convince me that my money and my personal data are in safe hands.
  2. I don’t have any control over MY PERSONAL DATA that is shared between Celcom and Boost.
  3. I think the Banks, SamsungPay and ApplePay have a better chance in the mobile wallet game. Occasionally I use Maybank Pay. Everyone knows Maybank( Link-> MaybankPay), CIMB (Link-> CIMB Pay), Samsung Pay (link). These are trusted names in the Industry. When it comes to Boost, I can only think of Boost Juice..lol….Can’t they pick a better name?

Fyi, this is how BIG the Axiata Group of companies, as of January 2018 (click the image to enlarge). These companies may have access to your personal data, if you are a Celcom customer.

Goodbye BustBoost. Now I got to submit a request for them to delete the account. There seem to be no option to delete my Boost account within the app.

P.s: Despite all these, I am still keeping my Celcom line because I have faith that Celcom will do more to protect customer’s privacy.