Cash may be king, but going cashless is all the rage now.
ALMOST every other day we hear of a new digital payment option hitting the market. Before we go any further, let’s recap what digital payment means. It is a way one makes payments with no cold, hard cash involved. The transactions are made via electronic transfers where it only takes a tap of a smartphone or scan of a QR code to complete the process.
According to data measurement company Nielsen Holdings, many Malaysians find their mobile devices “indispensable shopping buddies” used to look up product information, compare prices, look for coupons or deals, and make their shopping trips quicker or more efficient.
Its “Mobile Ecology: Are Malaysian Consumers Ready For The new Frontier Of Mobile Banking And Payment” research shows that more Malaysians are willing to “make or increase the number of mobile payments if security features are enhanced”.
It also states Malaysian consumers are willing to increase the number of mobile payments via their connected mobile device if it includes “availability of incentives, loyalty or rewards specifically for mobile payment users and speedier checkout compared to traditional payment methods”.
It’s a good thing then that there are so many digital payment apps for us to try. Here, we look at seven e-wallet apps that could make cash transactions a thing of the past.
It is touted as one of the most versatile e-wallets in the world because you can literally use it anywhere credit and debit cards are accepted.
The system uses digital tokenisation for securing the transfer of data between merchants and card payment networks, and on the phone it has Samsung Knox, a defence-grade mobile security system.
When you sign up for an account, you’ll be required to scan your fingerprint or iris, and enter a PIN. This will also be used to authenticate future purchases.
Samsung Pay accepts credit and debit cards from CIMB, Citibank, Hong Leong Bank, Maybank, Public Bank, RHB and Standard Chartered. However, it only accepts selected cards from these banks so check out the details on the app.
Anytime you want to use Samsung Pay to make a payment, just swipe up from the bottom of the Home screen to access your digital card.
You will first have to authenticate that it is you before tapping your smartphone on the credit card terminal to complete the transaction.
You will earn points for each purchase, and when you accumulate enough points, you can redeem items from the rewards catalogue within the app.
Another great Samsung Pay feature is that you can add your favourite loyalty and membership cards just by scanning the barcode and following the prompts. This way, you won’t miss collecting points at the outlets you frequent.
The Samsung Pay app is compatible with Galaxy S9/S9+, S8/S8+, S7/S7 Edge and S6 Plus, as well as Galaxy Note 8, Note FE, Note 5, A8/A8+, A9 Pro, A7 (2017) and A5 (2016). The app also works on Gear S3 and Gear Sport smartwatches.
Android and iOS
I am sure that most people, like me, spend a chunk of their hard earned money eating out or buying stuff they don’t need. Now, while we cannot get back all the money we spend on food or other items, what about getting some of it back? FavePay offers cashback with selected outlets and there is a decent number of good cafes and restaurants on its list.
So when you pay for food or services, you will get up to 20% back. The amount will be credited into the “Partner Wallet” and will be automatically used when you make a purchase again at the same vendor.
So even though you don’t get the discount immediately, at least you know that it will be reflected on your next bill, and this works especially well if you’re a creature of habit who frequents the same joints.
You need to link your Amex, MasterCard and Visa credit or debit cards to your account, which you can save under the My Payments section in the app. You can also connect your AirAsia Big Member account to earn points.
Android and iOS
Your account is linked to your phone number, and you can actually see who else on your contact list has a Boost account. This is helpful when you’re short on money, and need to request for cash to be sent to your Boost account.
You can top up a minimum of RM10 from either your bank account (it accepts transfers from 16 banks) or even your debit or credit card.
Splitting bills is easy with Boost. Just key in the names of the people you had a meal with (provided that they are also Boost users), put in the bill total, and choose if you want to split the cost evenly or individually.
They will get a notification of how much they owe you and can then transfer the money into your Boost account.
There is also an option to purchase vouchers for F&B, beauty and health products, entertainment and travel at a slightly discounted price.
If you’re feeling generous, you can purchase these vouchers and send them as gifts to your family and friends, and the best part? They don’t even have to be a Boost user to enjoy this perk.
Touch 'N Go
Android and iOS
When the app was first introduced, everyone went nuts thinking that they could just top up their physical Touch ‘n Go cards using this app. While you initially could, the feature has since been suspended because the process was too cumbersome.
The app instead offers other exciting things like being able to buy flight and movie tickets. You can reload the app via online banking (it works with 17 banks) with a minimum of RM10 to a maximum of RM500. Weirdly though, the app didn’t proceed with the reload when I chose RM300 or RM500 as the amount, but worked for amounts of RM200 or less. You can also top up using your credit or debit cards, or link them directly to your account.
Once your account has money, you can then proceed to make payments at merchants that support the app.
I bought movie tickets using the app. So far, it only features shows at MBO cinemas throughout the country. You are required to key in your six digit password (needed to make any type of payment) and the QR code for the ticket will be stored in your app.
The only problem – when I decided to cancel the purchase, it was not refundable. You can also use the app to pay for Astro, electricity, selected postpaid phone bills and top up your prepaid.
Android and iOS
This app allows you to pay for things, send or request money from family and friends, pay for utility bills and top up your prepaid.
There isn’t a minimum balance required for you to keep the account active, though there are two levels in Vcash that determine the maximum amount you can store.
With Basic you can keep up to RM500, while Enhanced allows you to store up to RM2,500. How do you upgrade to Enhanced? By taking a photo of your MyKad which automatically bumps you up to the higher level.
You can deposit money into your account using a credit or debit card but you’ll be charged a fee of 1.5% so use online banking instead if you don’t wish to incur the extra cost.
Currently, you can only use the Vcash payment service at Eggette Lab, Big Singh Chapati and Paperfish in the Klang Valley, and The Manhattan Fish Market outlets across Malaysia.
You need a Maybank Visa credit, debit or prepaid card to use MaybankPay, and you can register up to eight cards in the app. If you’re using a debit card, you’ll be required to set a purchase limit first, and the limit can be changed via the Maybank2U website or any Maybank ATMs.
You need a smartphone running Android 4.4 and above and have to turn on the NFC feature. When making a purchase, launch the app, key in the six digit passcode, select a card to use and “wave” the device at the payment terminal to pay.
While the passcode is required to unlock the app, a different PIN is required for transactions above RM250. If the user registers more than one card on the app, they can choose to set the same or different PIN for each card. The PIN can be set at the Maybank2U website.
You can make “contactless” transactions using MaybankPay at any merchant that supports NFC payWave.
Just like most of the other apps, you will have to register for an account with your e-mail and set up a six digit passcode. Then you can scan your fingerprint for quick login or payment authentication in the future.
You can set up the wallet by providing the details for your CIMB debit, credit or prepaid cards, and then proceed to verify them using the OTP that will be sent to your registered mobile number.
Once you have done that you can start using the e-wallet at any outlet with Mastercard Contactless or Visa payWave terminals.
The app also lets you search, discover and receive the latest, nearest and attractive deals that CIMB cards have to offer.