I really like these fintech products, and not even sponsored to say this!
Fintech = finance + technology. You probably use some of them (like bank apps). What I’m about to do here is to give my own take of how these fintech products in Malaysia are personally helpful for me. I’ve divided them into: products that save money, products that help with money management, and investment-related products.
Fintech products that save money
Cashback apps – Shopback.my
As of time of writing, I’ve used Shopback.my for a couple of years and received RM464.86 in cashback. All I’ve done is to make purchases I was going to make anyway, but through the platform. You can use it to get money back even for mobile topups (like from Lazada and similar) and for your vacations (Expedia and similar).
Referral link: here (get RM5 extra when you purchase)
Non-referral link: here
There are a lot of these, and I love each of them. They can be:
- Credit card, personal loan, travel insurance, mortgage, fixed deposit, savings accounts, broadband and telco comparison websites – GoBear, iMoney, RinggitPlus, CompareHero, LoanStreet and similar
- Product comparison websites – iPrice and similar
- Money exchange rates comparison – CurrenSeek
Fintech products that help with money management
Expense-tracking tools – Money Lover
I like to track my spending and dissect them (see: My Total Income and Expenses in 2016). Big fan of Money Lover – a paid app (get from AppStore or PlayStore) but gives absolutely beautiful breakdowns in graphic format. I like them so much, I even have a review on them (also not paid to say this).
Cryptocurrency money management – Wirex
(BIG DISCLAIMER: I provide work for Wirex. In fact I was recently promoted, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been using them in my personal life)
I am a bitcoin user and love that this platform allows me to use bitcoin OR USD (or GBP or EUR) at any time, depending on whichever is cheaper/more convenient. I can:
- Send money to anyone in the world and it’ll cost me just cents, at most a few ringgits depending on the amount (via bitcoin). Anytime, even on the weekends or public holiday or 3am in the morning.
- Likewise I accept bitcoin payments for my work, so I avoid crazy money transfer fees (Paypal is 4.4%, last I checked. Don’t even get me started on Western Union). Good for people who have international clients like me.
- Make payments anywhere that accept Visa and Mastercard. Like the time I needed to make payment in Fiverr.com but somehow my Maybank cards were not accepted, so I used my Wirex card.
- Go travel anywhere and able to withdraw local money from any ATMs without using traditional money exchange (more for the convenience, rates for this one is not competitive yet).
I like to get my bitcoin elsewhere (work, buy from another exchange) then transfer to my Wirex wallet and just keep small amounts there (so I don’t overspend). Sometimes, the value changes and I get more $$ for my bitcoin, but likewise the opposite is true, so keep that in mind. Of course, bitcoin is not for everyone, but I do think you should at least know what it is if only to be familiar with how blockchain works (an area of technology that the finance industry is very interested in). Obligatory guide: FAQ: Everything You Should Know about Bitcoin in Malaysia, as a Newbie
Referral link: here (get 25% off plastic debit card, comes with free bitcoin wallet and 1 free virtual card)
Non-referral link: here (still comes with free bitcoin wallet and 1 free virtual card)
Invoicing/Accounting tool – Financio.co
Ok, so I’ve been using Financio’s (free-for-startups) invoicing tool for about a year plus now. Works great, looks professional. There are plenty of accounting software in the market, so for me they are similar, it didn’t really stand out.
THEN Financio decided to make a campaign, and I’m sold. The campaign is so appealing to me. Bad puns galore (I like bad puns). I’m a big believer in personal branding, and they’ve been putting this guy (who they say is the person behind Financio) in ad campaigns and I can’t help but to be charmed by them. I mean, like, look:
Accounting software used to be bleh, but they changed my mind, they can have character, so that’s why I’m putting them here.
(Q: Which food is the most sensitive? A: Pau. Because it has a lot of fillings)
Fintech products for investment
Gold savings account – HelloGold
I was introduced to HelloGold during the Bloktex Blockchain 2017 conference. I haven’t personally used it yet, but I think it’s worth sharing. Strong team and potential platform for you guys who want to invest in gold. Syariah-compliant. Partnership with AEON Credit.
Basically, HelloGold allows you to buy gold (digital or physical) and records your ownership to that gold on blockchain (tamper-free data ledger where in this case, proof of ownership is prioritised). You can invest as low as RM1, and the gold can be used as collateral.
Unit trust platform – FundSupermart
Fundsupermart has been around forever, but it’s worth putting them here in case you don’t know them. I got my PRS account (Private Retirement Scheme) from them, and better fees than private providers. They also have a funds selector tool and it’s easy to find the Syariah-compliant options, so thumbs up for this feature.
I’d love to give my referral code for this but it’s not as straightforward. If you feel like giving me the chance to earn one of their x.x% sales charge tokens, contact me (comment here works too) and I’ll send you an invite.
Other fintech products in Malaysia
The fintech product offerings that we have here in Malaysia is still limited. Overseas, there are:
- Apps that help you invest small amounts of money automatically (like Digit, Acorn)
- Robo-advisors that allows people (beyond the crazy rich ones) get access to personalised financial, wealth and retirement planning
- AI (artificial intelligence) tools that give people alerts and help them make financial decisions (good or bad can be debated – AI is not foolproof yet)
However, we do have (as of time of writing):
- Bank apps that are apparently more user-friendly (I’ve yet to download Maybank’s app)
- Equity crowdfunding and P2P lending platforms (see: What can you invest with RM1000? A quick guide)
- The trend that will hopefully make insurance more cheap – online insurance providers (p/s- this is also called ‘insurtech’)
- More digital payment options, what with your SamsungPay and all
- Various websites and apps that help you check stock and commodities prices
- Money management platforms that can give you better-suited financial products (like MoneyLion – note: have not personally used)
- Other bitcoin service providers (most are global companies but some welcome Malaysians as users)
- Crowdfunding platforms that Malaysians use to raise funds for education, events and other things
Personally, I’d love to see more products that use technology for positive social impact. Feel free to take the ideas below and turn them into reality:
- Big data applications that match deserving candidates to agencies providing social security services, like food bank and stuff
- Senior/disabled-friendly security measures that can identify and stop people from becoming financial victims to scammers
- Blockchain tech enabling transparent and efficient BR1M or similar funds disbursement
- And more. Sky’s your limit.
As someone who loves financial literacy, the rise of fintech products in Malaysia makes me very excited. Banks are jumping in on fintech initiatives left, right and centre. And after using some of the products, I have to say they have helped me, a lot. I keep myself updated via news and the Fintech Malaysia FB group.
Any other fintech services and products in Malaysia that you use? Can you share them in the comment section below? Thanks!