BigPay Malaysia Review

A month ago, I was first introduced to BigPay Malaysia from a friend as a potential travel card. In that piece, I had a few different guesses as to what BigPay was about and more importantly, how we can take advantage of it both now and in the future. I still wasn’t able to write a review for BigPay Malaysia at that time as I had just submitted my application to get a BigPay mastercard. It took longer because I was looking for a referral code to get a free RM10 (and if you’re also in the same situation, you can use code B7D3YNZPGO).

But as soon as I got it (it was maybe 4 business days after submitting the application), I started incorporating it into my life to see how I could potentially use it in my life. And I was very surprised with what I found.

What is BigPay Malaysia

BigPay Malaysia is the upgrade from what AirAsia used to call their BIG prepaid mastercard (you can read all about it here). Long story short, BigPay is now an ewallet that has incorporated a prepaid mastercard. What this means is that you can transfer money into your account and be able to spend that money through the mastercard, making life easier in that you won’t have to carry as much money around.

Different Ways to Use BigPay

At first I was only thinking of using BigPay as a way to get access to a credit card like features, and to use it for when I travel. However, over the past month, I’ve found a few different ways to use it.

Everyday purchases

Of course, the main thing was to be able to use it for everyday purchases. Unfortunately, Malaysia isn’t like the US or Canada in that credit cards are accepted everywhere (most small shops and mamaks will not take card). However, I have been able to use the BigPay prepaid mastercard at convenience stores, grocery stores, restaurants, grab, and retail stores.

I haven’t tried using this to top up my touch ‘n go card yet, but it’s something I want to try.

Foreign Usage

The initial reason I got this card. I wanted to use BigPay when I travelled so I didn’t have to exchange as much money. I saw myself using it during my 13 hour layover in China later this year as a way to be able to buy food without being at the mercy of the exchange rate inside the airport. I also saw it as a way to pay for most things when I was out of the country.

I haven’t had to do this yet so I don’t know how well it’ll go (but I do have a friend who’s getting back soon so I’ll her about her experience).

That said, there was one type of foreign usage that I had totally forgotten about and that’s making online purchases in the original currency.

Online purchases

I have also been able to use BigPay to make online purchases at sites like Lazada. I haven't had to buy anything from a different country yet, but I’m looking forward to using it on Amazon especially as black friday and christmas gets closer.

Also, when I updated my Canadian crypto account with the mastercard, it accepted it so maybe I will be able to make crypto purchases at cost and instant (an option that doesn’t seem to be available here in Malaysia).

Send / receive money

I didn’t think it’d make that big of a difference with this ability, but boy was I wrong! n the past, when I would go out and eat with friends, either we would all pay our separate bills (and thus, take forever to get through the process) or one of us would pay first and everyone else will transfer them money.

The problem with transferring is that you tend to forget if you don’t do it right away.

However, with something like BigPay, where you can search by name (instead of having to enter an account number), sending money can be done within seconds.

This also gives way for you to get a bunch of points that would have otherwise been harder to do. For example, just this past week, my team and I went out to eat and my friend used her grab pay to pay for us all. We then sent her money right away so we didn’t have to remember about doing it later. And because she used grab pay and was able to get a few thousand points!

And all she has to to now is top up her grab account by using BigPay.

How BigPay Has Made My Life Easier

Now that you have an idea of how I have been able to use BigPay the last month, let’s look at all the other ways that it has made my life a lot easier.

no need to carry as much cash and get change

I hated going to the ATM to withdraw money. I almost always had to queue to get the money and sometimes I can’t find my bank’s ATM so I had to pay a fee for using a different ATM.

I also hated getting change when I made any purchases. It’s a pain to carry and I end up leaving it in a jar, hardly ever used.

Now with BigPay, these situations are less likely to occur.

Not as much code entering

Whenever I transferred money to someone else, I always had to get some sort of code on my phone and enter it in before the money sends. Now, with the free, easy to use transfer feature on BigPay, the code situation doesn’t exist anymore.

This is also true when it came to topping up grab.

sending and recieving money from friends a lot easier

As previously mentioned, all I have to do to send money is to search up the person’s name on BigPay (they have to have an account as well) and send them the money. No more worrying if the account number is correct, or having to enter and codes to confirm the transfer.

easy way to make foreign purchases

Not only can I make foreign purchases in person, but I can also use it to make foreign online purchases. Super excited to use all of these features later this year when it’s Christmas time.

BigPay’s Future (T&C)

In my initial review of BigPay, I had made a lot of guesses in terms of how BigPay would make money (because right now, they’re losing money for every customer they get). Although I do not know if they will ultimately do those things in the future, they do provide some clearer insights in their app under ‘fees and charges’. Some of them are:

  • A 2.50 monthly service fee if you don’t use the card that month
  • ATM withdrawal fees
    Although they currently only charge RM10 as the fee for withdrawing cash in a foreign country, they do write that they will charge 2% of the total withdrawal, possibly making it more expensive than your traditional bank card. Something that I’ll definitely keep an eye on and let you know in the newsletter if anything changes.
  • Currency Conversion Fee
    They currently only pass the costs that they incur when making a foreign purchase, but in the future, they will charge 1% of the total cost.
  • Cross border transaction fee
    Waived until further notice, but they don’t mention how much this could be in the future

Once they introduce these fees, it will most likely be enough for them to sustain themselves and make a good profit. However, it might not be the best for us. But this future doesn’t matter right now because I’m sure there will be more alternatives in the future that we would be able to switch to and if not, we’ll find the best alternative. RIght now all we can do is take full advantage of what they’re offering.

Final Thoughts

BigPay has been a great addition to my daily life. It’s made paying for things a lot easier. It’s given me new ways to quickly pay back my friends and it has some huge foreign transaction options for me to take advantage of.

What I want to spend more time looking into is how to connect BigPay to other apps and promos for us to create a way to get some huge points that we might otherwise leave on the table.

I would definitely recommend getting yourself a card as it will not only save you money, but make your life a lot easier.

And if you use referral code B7D3YNZPGO, you will be able to get a free RM10 for signing up!