Looking for the best e-wallets in Malaysia for your own use, but not sure which to pick? What are the options out there? What features are available?
Let me help you with that. In this article, I’d like to share the best e-wallets in Malaysia, as compared in their respective categories.
Number of E-wallets in Malaysia: 43
According to Fintech News Malaysia’s Fintech Map 2022 report, there are 43 active e-wallets registered in Malaysia.
There used to be more e-wallets in Malaysia – at one point I calculated over 50! I’m sure competition is tough because some of them have discontinued since.
It is important to know that just because an e-wallet is listed above, it doesn’t mean (1) they are operational (may be in early stages, or dormant), and (2) there isn’t more e-wallets. For example, I noticed AirAsia’s ewallet isn’t listed, and maybe that’s because they are built via white label solution Fasspay ewallet.
To make things easier, I have categorised popular e-wallets in Malaysia under 8 categories, according what they are best used for. I will then pick a favourite (or two) from each category.
Let’s start with..
#1 – The Big Three
You know which Big Three e-wallets I’m talking about:
- TnG ewallet
- GrabPay ewallet
- Boost ewallet
Use it for: discounts/cashback/vouchers,
cash handouts from the govt, the widest range of features*
(*as of August 2022: ride-hailing, food delivery, send and receive money, buy movie tickets, pay parking, pay bills, buy mobile top-up, send deliveries, buy insurance, hire service providers, book hotels and travel packages, make donations and more)
Best e-wallet in Malaysia in this category: According to surveys, many Malaysians prefer TnG e-wallet and GrabPay after Boost eliminated cashback and implemented points as shake bonus
#2 – E-wallets that comes with debit/prepaid cards
Next are the ones that feature Visa or Mastercard debit/prepaid cards. Some e-wallets which belong in this category:
- MAE by Maybank (Use code ‘SBZ0515’ to get free RM3)
- BigPay (use code ‘INLALP7ZLE’ to get free RM10)
- Wise (use this link to get fee-free transfer up to RM2500)
- KiplePay – ‘designed for students’
- Merchantrade Money – for cross-border money transfer (ie remittance)
Use it for: travelling, transfering money, better currency exchange rates (good for buying stuff priced in USD etc), budgeting interface and expense tracker
Best e-wallet in Malaysia in this category: From user feedback, Wise and Bigpay both have better currency exchange rate than the rest (let me know if otherwise)
#3 – E-wallets for ‘lifestyle’
In addition to The Big Three, other e-wallets which belong in this category are:
- airasia pocket – AirAsia’s super app
- B-Infinite ewallet – loyalty programme
- GoPayz by Umobile (also provides micro-insurance, currency exchange, remittance, zakat payment etc) (I’m confused by Umobile’s strategy and this range of services tbh)
- Zapp ewallet (has a chat function)
- JuruPay ewallet
- MCash ewallet
- Wanna ewallet – ‘chat commerce app powered by AI’
- And more
Use it for: discounts, making payments
Best e-wallet in Malaysia in this category: I would stick to The Big Three (#1)
#5 – E-wallets by e-commerce platforms
Hey if I’m an e-commerce platform, I’d make an e-wallet too. Getting users to spend all the money in the e-wallet ONLY in my platform is a great strategy!
- ShopeePay ewallet
- Lazada Wallet
- Presto ewallet (by PrestoMall)
Use it for: discounts and/or free shipping, additional payment protection
Best e-wallet in Malaysia in this category: Depends on which e-commerce store you use the most. Mine is ShopeePay ewallet
#6 – E-wallets for certain locations/services
And now the e-wallets get kookier 🙂 Leaders in this category:
- SarawakPay ewallet
- 1Pay ewallet (1Utama mall’s e-wallet)
- AEON ewallet
- Setel ewallet – Petronas’s e-wallet for petrol payments
- CaltexGO ewallet – Caltex’s e-wallet for petrol payments
Use it for: cashback, discounts, loyalty points, state pride
Best e-wallet in Malaysia in this category: Depends on which state you live in/ which mall or petrol station you use
#7 – E-wallets for very specific target audiences/use case
This is my favourite category of e-wallets in Malaysia. Rather than saying ‘we serve everyone’, they have identified a very specific target audience and said, well who cares about the rest lol.
Leaders in this category:
- Instapay – for employers to pay salary for (foreigner) employees
- Vircle – for parents to ‘safely introduce children to the world of contactless payments, teaching them responsible spending and consumption habits’
- Fasspay – e-wallet white label solution, aka for businesses that want to create an e-wallet
- GoPay – e-wallet for passive income? Has an MLM-ish structure, a bit sus
Of all the rest, I see this list growing more in the future! #blueoceanstrategy
Best e-wallet in Malaysia in this category: Highly dependent on what feature you’re looking for
#8 – International e-wallets
These are established international companies, who I guess are doing the right thing by registering themselves in Malaysia? Idk
Leaders in this category:
- Alipay and Wechat – for people with connections/clients/family in China? No idea
- GPay – for Android users
- Paypal – for people who send/receive money internationally
- Samsung Pay – for Samsung users
- (I’m guessing Apple Pay would be lumped here as well, if they bother to get themselves registered in Malaysia)
Best e-wallet in Malaysia in this category: Depends which of these services you already use
Which one do you think is the best e-wallets in Malaysia?
So, how many e-wallets do you currently have installed? How many are you using regularly? Which one is your favourite? Which ones do you want to check out? Let me know in the comments!
As someone who is in full support of the digital economy, I do encourage you to check out the above e-wallet players – especially #7 – and see if they can solve any of your existing problems.
Bonus section: Benefits and disadvantages of e-wallets in Malaysia
Just a quick section highlighting the main advantages and disadvantages of e-wallets that you must know.
Benefits of e-wallets – safe and convenient
The obvious benefits of using e-wallets are the safety and convenience factor. *If* fraud or theft happens, it’s mostly because the users need to have better digital security practices. Contactless and cashless transactions also mean you’ll avoid dealing with banknotes, which may carry germs.
You also can’t argue with the convenience factor*. It is easy to make e-wallet payments. Topping up is also easy (too easy perhaps).
*except for iPhones users – we all know making e-wallet payments is a bit mafan because Touch ID > Face ID
Disadvantages of e-wallets – too many options; dark patterns
Too many options isn’t a bad thing, except it kinda is, when you consider most e-wallet platforms don’t allow withdrawals. Once you add funds to it, you can only spend/transfer out to friends/family.
I’d also like to point out Dark patterns – the UI/UX tricks that companies do to get you to spend more. Some of them are fairly innocent, like using count-down timers to encourage faster checkouts.
Others are borderline unethical, like GrabPay implementing Buy Now, Pay Later to give a false sense of affordability and encourage unnecessary spending.
Alright that’s all. Stay safe while using e-wallets kids!