Looking for the best e-wallets in Malaysia for your own use, but not sure which to pick? There are so many of them, and they have different features, so how do you even compare?
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.
What are the options out there? What are they good for? According to Fintech News Malaysia’s Fintech Map 2021 report, there are 38 active e-wallets registered in Malaysia. (Side note: 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)
I categorised these e-wallets under 7 categories, what they are best used for, and pick a favourite (or two) from each category.
#1 – The Big Three
You know who they are:
- TnG ewallet
- GrabPay ewallet
- Boost ewallet
Use it for: discounts/cashback/vouchers,
cash handouts from the govt, the widest range of features (as of September 2021: ride-hailing, food delivery, 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 cards
Next are the ones that feature Visa or Mastercard debit cards. Some e-wallets which belong in this category:
- MAE by Maybank
- BigPay (use code ‘INLALP7ZLE’ to get free RM10)
- MyMy (Homegrown Malaysian; has been in beta for a while)
Use it for: travelling, 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: Bigpay. The currency exchange is better than MAE and you can collect BIGPoints as well.
#3 – E-wallets for ‘lifestyle’
This is probably the biggest e-wallet category. There are maybe 15 or more positioning itself to be lifestyle e-wallets for Malaysians. Some e-wallets which belong in this category:
- FavePay ewallet – (currently my fave for the discounts)
- B-Infinite ewallet – loyalty programme
RazerPay(edit: they exited Malaysia)
- 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) (download via this link for free Junior Scoop Baskin Robbins)
- (and more. I’m not sure if they’re still active or able to compete in this space)
- JuruPay ewallet
Use it for: discounts
Best e-wallet in Malaysia in this category: (not including The Big Three in #1) probably FavePay
#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
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
Lesser-known ones (not much info and not sure if actively used/updated):
- Kedah Pay ewallet
- Mydin ewallet
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:
- KiplePay – ‘e-wallet for students and education sector’
- Merchantrade Money – for cross-border money transfer (ie remittance)
- Instapay – for employers to pay salary for (foreigner) employees
- Samsung Pay – for Samsung users
- Vircle – for parents to ‘safely introduce children to the world of contactless payments, teaching them responsible spending and consumption habits’
- eWANG – developed by SMJ Teratai, the money transfer company
- (and more, thanks to e-wallet white label solution Fasspay)
Of all the rest, I see this list growing more in the future! #blueoceanstrategy
Best e-wallet in Malaysia in this category: Highly depend on which feature you’re looking for
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. I think using e-wallets is an *excellent* way for someone to explore fintech as a beginner, before moving on to more complicated solutions like DeFi.
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!