Recently our team decided to visit i-City in Shah Alam. If you are unfamiliar with the location, i-City is an ICT-based urban development (pun intended probably) spanning 72 acres, where ICT stands for information communications technology.
Apart from being technologically advanced, i-City is also known for its amusement water park, indoor snow zone and colorful lights.
And of course, to be technologically savvy.
i-City has developed its own app (called i-City SuperApp) which makes it easier for those who live, work or just visit i-City to discover the location. You can read our full app review here.
One of the features of the app is the digital wallet. Just like other e-wallets, the one in the i-City app uses QR technology to make transactions.
You won’t find much use for this e-wallet outside of i-City, but within the confines of this urban development, it’s as good as…well, real money.
Or so we thought. In preparation for our visit, we downloaded the app and were prepared to spend no cash throughout our trip. Here’s how it actually happened.
First, we encountered parking problems
Before we can enter the theme park, there is another type of “park” we had to worry about.
The i-City SuperApp offers a parking function, through which residents and workers can purchase and use seasonal passes.
Since this was the only option we could find under the parking tab, we were a bit confused. After all, in doing our research before the trip, we learned that people had used the QR code to pay for their one time parking, but with some complaints.
Assuming it was likely that we could just drive up to the parking barrier, scan our QR code and be good, that’s exactly what we did. Except we assumed wrongly and our QR code was rejected.
We ended up taking a ticket, and it wasn’t until much later that we found out what was wrong with i-City SuperApp customer service.
Turns out we were supposed to load our digital wallet with cash first, and then only our QR code would be valid at the parking barrier.
Ultimately though, our hotel, Best Western, offered free parking for guests, so we technically ended up going cashless.
At the water park, the QR code is king (a little)
Our first stop after the hotel was the i-City water park, WaterWorld. Here we finally got to try out the e-wallet at a refreshment bar.
Recharging the e-wallet was quite simple. There is a minimum top-up of RM10 and a maximum of RM500.
One thing to note though is that once the money is in the app, it is not refundable or transferable. You can use a credit/debit card to top up or do it through FPX and other e-wallets.
To pay, we simply flashed our QR code on the reader and the transaction was completed instantly.
Although fast, there was a slight downside to this. For one, there was no OTP or SMS confirmation of any kind before our payment was cleared.
Then there’s also the fact that your e-wallet balance may actually go negative, instead of alerting you that you’re out of balance and preventing you from making more purchases.
This means that, if you don’t keep a close eye on your e-wallet balance, you may end up spending more than you planned or making accidental purchases (like we did, but don’t ask how).
Luckily merchants are able and happy to arrange a refund, in case you flashed your QR code twice on the reader while trying to get an image for content creation purposes (this is absolutely not what we have done).
This refreshment stand was a cashless experience we had here, while another was in the gift shop near the end of our WaterWorld trip. There you also pay for your goods via QR code.
However, keep in mind that cash is still somewhat necessary at WaterWorld, as the lockers where you can store your belongings are cash only.
Ride the theme park rides without a hitch
Although we purchased a theme park pass which gave us access to almost all of the attractions and rides in i-City, you can also choose to purchase individual tickets to each ride.
Payments for these tickets can be made through the SuperApp. Alternatively, you will also be able to find kiosks in i-City, usually near the attractions, where you can buy the tickets. These kiosks accept card payments or can also scan your app’s QR code.
To get on the rides, the theme park attendants in charge of each ride must scan your code, making it a fairly seamless process.
There were no invisible ink pads to wash off, or bracelets to struggle with at the end of the day.
However, there was also a downside that we encountered with this. For a trip included in the package, for some reason, we were still charged an additional fee.
Thus, money was deducted from our e-wallet. We don’t know if it was a failure of the i-City system to recognize that we were using our package, or if it was the attendant who made a human error.
Anyway, this is where it would be helpful to have an alert notification that your e-wallet balance is too low to charge because we didn’t even know we were charged (and our balance was negative) until the attendant brought it to our attention later.
In any case, just to be sure, if you’ve already purchased a pass, there’s no harm in letting the theme park attendants know anyway, so you can avoid facing the same issue. At least, until i-City SuperApp improves its system.
With the current capabilities of the i-City SuperApp, it wouldn’t be impossible for all of i-City’s 72 acres to go cashless one day.
But of course i-City also includes other businesses within its boundaries that would not be under its jurisdiction.
To be fair, cashless isn’t a game-changer for theme parks, as many already let you buy tickets online, or have physical counters where you can buy all-day all-access tickets, which which avoids having to make several purchases. .
For the purposes of the i-City theme park in particular, where access to rides can be purchased on an individual basis, not using cash certainly makes the transaction process easier for visitors.
So, if you are planning to visit Shah Alam development, we recommend you to download the app in advance and charge some money in advance, but not too much, of course, unless you want to. intend to schedule a second visit.
- Learn more about i-City here.
- Read the other reviews we have written here.