The best e-wallets in Malaysia, as ranked by users
BELIEVE it or not, electronic wallets (e-wallets) are one of the best inventions of the 21st century. They’re quick and easy, allowing people to make payments with a single tap.
An e-wallet can be defined as an electronic or online device that allows transactions to be made via a computer or smartphone.
Most e-wallets, like credit or debit cards, are linked to the individual’s bank account in order to make payments. They’re also usually protected with passwords or identification.
These days, one can pay for just about anything with e-wallets, including groceries, clothes, flight tickets, gadgets and others.
In Malaysia, e-wallets are a growing trend. Despite cyber-security concerns, more and more people are starting to use digital wallets to pay for bills, food, tolls, petrol, groceries and retail expenses.
E-money transactions amounted to 1.4 million in volume and RM10.6 billion in value as of January to August 2019, according to Bank Negara Malaysia data.
Many industry experts regard Malaysia as a prime market for the growth of e-wallets, due to its high potential and favourable demographics to boost e-wallet adoption in the country.
The usage of e-wallets also opens the door for many discounts and promotions from merchants, which Malaysians appear to be particularly inclined towards.
The more the usage, the more one stands a chance to claim and win coupon codes, vouchers and gift cards for particular products or services.
E-wallet technology has also proven to be one of the more secured transaction processes, despite concerns from some parties as it does not require sharing personal information such as one’s date of birth and phone number.
In Malaysia, the e-wallet market is projected to grow to US$20 billion (RM83.8 billion) by 2024, professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Malaysia said.
The firm added that since e-wallets can be used for a variety of payments, the retail, food and beverage, e-commerce and peer-to-peer transfer industries are expected to be the most popular given the small ticket size per transaction.
Malaysian e-wallet player TNG Digital Sdn Bhd said it has over five million registered users, with adoption growing aggressively.
“Currently, we are the largest e-wallet player and most used e-wallet in Malaysia’s financial technology industry. With 100,000 merchants and retail points, we have grown so much in just one year.
“Last year in October, we reached one million users and in the same period in October this year, we grew to five million users,” TNG Digital CEO Ignatius Ong told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently.
He said the group is seeing growth in user numbers on a month-to-month basis. It will improve the number going into 2020.
Ong added that the nation will eventually move towards being a cashless society.
In China for example, being cashless has become so ingrained in their community to the point that some retail outlets don’t accept cash anymore.
“With Malaysia being made up of baby boomers, Generation X, Y and millennials, the appetite for convenience in everyday life and day-to-day transactions is essential,” he said.
During the tabling of Budget 2020, the government announced a RM30 incentive for e-wallet users to boost adoption rates.
TNG Digital, among many other e-wallet players, has applauded the initiative as it will serve as a good catalyst to get people started on e-wallets.
With so many digital payment providers in Malaysia, TMR has compiled a list of the best e-wallets available based on user ratings on the Google Play Store.
Touch ‘n Go eWallet
Touch ‘n Go’s eWallet was mainly introduced to make toll payments convenient. It’s in fact, one of the easiest ways to pay for tolls in Malaysia.
To use the service, users must download the app, create an account and register their contact number.
A six-digit pin is required to perform transactions. The “PayDirect” feature allows users to link their Touch ‘n Go account with the e-wallet to pay for tolls immediately.
For top-ups, a minimum of RM10 and a maximum of RM200 or RM500 can be reloaded into the wallet depending on its type.
However, the money reloaded cannot be withdrawn, unless the user’s account has been terminated.
Boost is a dedicated e-wallet which allows users to make payments without the hassle of carrying physical cash. It can be used almost anywhere, even in night markets.
Once the app has been downloaded onto one’s smartphone, one can reload money, scan the Quick Response (QR) code and pay for their product or service.
The payment can then be confirmed by entering the Boost 6-digit transaction pin.
A unique feature of Boost’s e-wallet is bill splitting, which allows users to help divide group payments.
A minimum of RM10 and a maximum of RM200 or RM1,500 can be reloaded into the wallet, depending on wallet type.
Premium Wallet users can transfer money from their e-wallets into their bank accounts.
Ride-hailing app Grab has joined the e-wallet bandwagon in Malaysia, with any user of Grab pretty much owning an e-wallet too.
Users can easily top up their Grab e-wallet and start paying for Grab rides, GrabFood (food delivered by Grab) and in-store items.
For GrabPay, no pin is required to perform transactions. Each transaction enables users to earn points which can be used to get free Grab rides and discounts on GrabFood.
A minimum of RM10 and a maximum of RM500 or RM1,500 can be reloaded into the Grab wallet.
Money loaded into the wallet cannot be withdrawn at any cost.
VCash is a mobile wallet powered by DiGi.Com Bhd. However, users can use the wallet with any Malaysian telecommunications company, as long as they have a Malaysian phone number.
In order to use VCash, users must download the app and deposit money into their e-wallet through Digi stores, online banking methods or JomPay. They can then scan the QR code and make payment.
For VCash, a six-digit pin or fingerprint is required to perform transactions. Bill splitting is allowed to make group payments.
Depending on the wallet type, a minimum of RM10 or a maximum of RM500, RM2,500 or RM5,000 can be reloaded into the wallet.
Premium wallet users can withdraw money from their accounts at a charge of RM1 per withdrawal.
Razer Pay claims to be an e-wallet designed for youth and millennials. It was introduced specifically to make gaming, entertainment and cinema purchases.
Users can start using the e-wallet by downloading the app and topping up their wallet with funds, or by linking it to their preferred credit or debit card.
No pin is required to perform transactions.
A minimum of RM10 or a maximum of RM3,000 can be reloaded into the wallet. Users can also top up at physical merchant stores like 7-Eleven.
Users can withdraw cash from their e-wallet through their bank account at any point in time.