E-wallets in Malaysia: One Mobile Wallet to Rule Them All?

The wave of electronic wallets, or a.k.a e-wallets has hit Malaysia, thanks to the ever-evolving technology in this digital era. Just in case you are unfamiliar with the term e-wallet, an e wallet is basically a virtual wallet which allows you store your digital money in using your phone.

Our fellow Malaysians today are spoiled with choices – with the increase in number of approved non-bank e-wallet issuers from 25 in 2016 to as many as 44 as end of June 2018, and this does not include the e-wallets services provided by the major banks yet.

Using and incorporating e-wallets in your daily transaction is easy – basically it works like your everyday debit card, which you deposit certain amount of money and then utilize the deposited fund to perform transactions, but instead of cards, e-wallets are available on smartphones.

Usually, the payment is facilitated by scanning Quick Response (QR) code or Barcode, depends on the preferred mechanism implemented by respective e-wallets issuers.

But, if it's just like debit card, why should I use E-wallets?

Well, interesting question! While at first glance, e-wallets might be just some fancy gimmicks by fintech companies to 'disrupt' the ecosystem of mobile transactions. But if we were to really look into it, e-wallets actually offer several edge-cutting advantages from their cards counterpart.

E-wallets pack interesting features, such as protected buyer authentications, integration of loyalty programme and convenient fund transfers between users. Distinct from these common benefits, different e-wallets offer different specialized conveniences for their users.

What is the best e-wallet among them all?

To answer the question, we analysed and carefully assessed the Pros and Cons of almost all e-wallets in Malaysia for comprehensive comparison. Therefore, treat this article as an ultimate guide if you would, to determine which is the 'One Wallet to Rule Them All'.

1. BigPay

Travellers rejoice! BigPay is here to bring you the convenience of mobile payment and the savings of loyalty programmes. Are you a frequent traveller? Or, more precisely, are you a frequent AirAsia flyer? If yes, then you should definitely check this out!

The best feature about this e-wallet is that, you could absolutely save a lot because it offers zero processing fees for flight booking, which if you book with normal debit/ credit card, this could amount to up to RM24 per ticket! Zero fees aside, you could earn discounts for baggages, foods & beverages on-flight and also Big Points for every transaction! How good is that!

In fact we're such big fans of BigPay that we have written a few different pieces on why it's so good here (why bigpay is the best travel credit card for malaysians and here (BigPay Review)

What we love about BigPay!

Features Description
Payment QR code & Prepaid Card.
Security Features Encrypted by 6-digit PIN code.
Use Cases Flight purchases!
Cash Back
Current Promotions
Best For Travellers!
Referral Yes, "Refer & Earn" (Earn RM10 each time for every referral!)

BigPay is available on both Android & Apple. Sign up with our referral code to get RM10: B7D3YNZPGO.

2. Boost

Boost has been an active player in the market for quite some time. Its "Scan & Pay" feature allows QR code to be scanned for fast transaction. If you happened to be staying near to Klang Valley, then Boost can offer even more flexibility because it has partnered up with a number of vendors so that you only have to flash your QR code when making purchases at food trucks, food courts and even at pasar malam stalls!

Boost is essentially the go-to-app because not only you are able to make purchases of vouchers, billing and prepaid top-up, you could also use it to pay for your online shopping. And, the most exciting part of it is that you are able to shake your phone for cashback via "Shake It!" after you made purchases! How cool is that!

What we love about Boost!

Features Description
Payment QR code & in-app purchases.
Security Features Encrypted by 6-digit PIN code.
Use Cases Prepaid top up, online shopping, parking payment & many more!
Cash Back Yes, "Shake It!"
Current Promotions "Boost Movie Mania Day" (50% cashback on movie tickets!), "Boost x Haier" (RM88 cashback!) & many more!
Best For Students & online shoppers!
Referral Yes, "Boost Mass Referral Campaign" (A total of RM45 cashback!).

Download Boost on Google Play or App Store and start using Boost today!

3. Razer Pay

Razer Pay or previously, One2Pay, was acquired by Razer, is another new mobile payment service provider in the scene. While it might be new, but it certainly established itself well last year by offering bonus credit of RM10 to every new users! Unfortunately, that promo is now over.

What sets Razer Pay apart from other e-wallets is that it offers direct top up from PINs which could be purchased on 7-Eleven stores, thanks to its partnership with Berjaya Corp. Besides, it is also easy for gamers to purchase game PINs instantly through online transactions!

What we love about Razer Pay!

Features Description
Payment QR code, barcode & in-app purchases.
Security Features Encrypted by 6-digit PIN code.
Use Cases Prepaid top up, online game PINs & convenience stores!
Cash Back
Current Promotions
Best For Gamers!

Razer Pay is available on both Android & Apple.

4. Touch 'n Go

We are sure that Touch 'n Go is one of the bigger name among all e-wallets in Malaysia right now. Ever since its release, it has been in an awkward position because of the inability to intergrate between physical card of Touch 'n Go with the e-wallets. Well, not anymore!

Despite able to check your physical card balance (duh!), you are able to use your e-wallets to pay for tolls, however in the meantime, it is only available for DUKE highways only. But hey, at least if this pilot program runs well, it will definitely roll this feature out for all the other remaining tolls!

What we love about Touch 'n Go!

Features Description
Payment QR code, barcode & in-app purchases.
Security Features Encrypted by 6-digit PIN code.
Use Cases Prepaid top up, tolls, billing & many more!
Cash Back For limited time only, "Tap 'n Huat!"
Current Promotions "Watch 'n Huat" (RM 5 discount for movie tickets!), "Shop 'n Huat" (Free Wonda Coffee at TESCO!) & many more!
Best For Commuters!

Touch 'n Go is available on both Android & Apple.

5. GrabPay

What we love about GrabPay!

Features Description
Payment QR code & in-app purchases.
Security Features Encrypted by 6-digit PIN code.
Use Cases Rides, deliveries & prepaid top up!
Cash Back
Current Promotions "GrabPay deals" (RM8 for Café Latte at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf & more!) & "GrabRewards"!
Best For Riders!

GrabPay is integrated to its Grab native app, which is available on both Android & Apple.

Verdict: Too many cooks spoil the broth?

Compared to just two main e-wallets reigning the scene in China – WeChat & AliPay, the current scenario in Malaysia has too many players fighting to establish themselves here. But certainly, it is in a healthy way because currently our fellow Malaysians are still adopting mobile payments and we still have a long way to go.

For average users like us, we would probably just use which e-wallets which are useful and convenient (and yes, with the most numbers of promotions) in the said condition regardless of the names. But thankfully. Bank Negara Malaysia has ordered a key initiative to be carried out – namely, Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework (ICTF) to construct a shared framework.

To put it simply, by the time the framework is done and implemented, users and merchants can make and receive payments seamlessly between one another at the point-of-sale even between different e-wallets platforms.

So, the question is, what do you use? And, what do you think about this? Let us know below!