The word ‘e-wallet’ seems to be everywhere these days, especially now that people are trying not to touch things, like paper money and coins, to avoid Covid-19. Many Malaysians started using e-wallets earlier this year after the government gave RM30 in e-wallet money to encourage this new way of paying.
But, some of us aren’t sure if we should use an e-wallet because we don’t know how it works or don’t see the benefits. So, should you get an e-wallet?
What is an e-wallet?
An e-wallet is a mobile app that keeps digital money which you can use to make payments. More stores such as restaurants, supermarkets, clothing shops and even neighbourhood kedai runcit are now accepting payments with e-wallets.
Some banks offer e-wallets using QR codes linked to your bank account. However, most of the time, banks do not offer as many incentives like benefits or discounts as those provided by non-bank e-wallet providers.
Are there any benefits to using an e-wallet?
Contactless: Firstly, in this time of Covid-19, a major benefit of e-wallets is that it’s contactless!
Security: E-wallets are also safer because you don’t have to carry as much cash. Also, if you lose your phone, you can still keep your cash in your e-wallet safe, but make sure you secure all your e-wallets by setting a password for each one. Some phones allow you to use your fingerprint or face ID instead of a password.
Tracks spending: Unlike cash and even card payments where you get paper receipts which might be hard to record, with an e-wallet you can track all your transactions. Tracking your transactions will help you plan your budget – and stick to it!
Rewards and cashback: You can get benefits such as cash back or reward points. List down the places you usually go to, check which e-wallets have the best deals for these places and download them. This way you get the most out of each e-wallet.
Government cashback: The government is giving a RM50 e-wallet incentive with cashback. This incentive is for all Malaysians aged 18 years and above and earning below RM100,000 per year. You can only redeem this by downloading the MySejahtera app first. For more information, click here.
Is there a downside to e-wallets?
Relies on your phone and internet connection: Firstly, you need to make sure your phone is charged and has good internet connection otherwise you won’t be able to make a payment. Running out of battery won’t be fun when you’re in line to pay for your groceries!
Processing fees: Although downloading e-wallets is free, some stores may charge you a processing fee for paying with an e-wallet.
Beware of overspending: Some people feel that because e-wallets are such an easy way to make payments, it can encourage reckless spending. So, beware of overspending!
Security concerns: Some of you may have concerns about data security. From what we understand, all e-wallet providers are not allowed to use your data as it’s protected by the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). However, it might be used to target you with ads.
How does it work?
- Find an e-wallet that suits your needs and download it on your phone – There are six banks and 47 non-bank e-money issuers that are licensed by Bank Negara which provide e-wallets. To avoid being scammed, make sure the e-wallet you’re planning to get is part of Bank Negara’s list.
- Put money in your e-wallet – To put money in your e-wallet, you’ll have to transfer funds online from your bank account, debit or credit card. Don’t forget to secure your e-wallets with password protection.
- You can then scan a QR code to make a payment – When you’re at the store, all you need to do is scan the QR code at the counter, check that the amount is correct, and tap a button to approve it.
E-wallets are easy to get and can be convenient, but do think about the above before choosing one. Remember, e-wallet or not, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on you in case of an emergency!