E-Wallet: Understanding the Inevitable Change

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E-Wallet option stickers besides Visa, Mastercard and Union Pay - JomPay, Boost, GrabPay etc.

Embracing the cashless culture

E-Wallet is like email but instead of mails they keep your money instead as a form of payment. Just like your wallet, you can control the amount of money you place inside it for different purposes. Once funded, you can use the wallet online and in physical transaction too. All you need to do is tap or scan a QR Code.

Though it seems easy, security for this cashless payment is heightened as well. Firstly, all e-wallet users need to register with a provider and complete a full KYC (Know Your Customer) process before getting ahold of an e-wallet. Verified e-wallet users normally have higher spending limit.

AEON E-Wallet advertisement at a vending machine – the wallet combines the hypermarket’s membership and e-money service

E-wallet has two different types, one is cloud-based (WeChat Pay, Boost, Grab Pay, Touch n Go) and another is card-based (AEON Card, M Money, Big Pay, M Pay Wallet). The only difference between the two is that the card-based are linked to card schemes like Visa, Mastercard, China Union Pay.

Why does it exist?

For convenience! Having electrical money saves so much time while you’re doing a transaction. Instead of rummaging through your physical wallet for money to pay, you just need to tap with your card or mobile phone and you’re good to go.

Physical cash could only be used physically and needs to go through depositing into ATM Machine process before it turns into e-money for you to use online. E-Wallet on the other hand could be used both offline (stores) and online. It is super easy and saves paper too!

GrabPay lets you pay by scanning with QR Codes

What does it do?

E-wallet is slightly similar and starkly different to credit card payments. We might have come across symbols that sit beside the Visa and Mastercard like Boost and Alipay at stores’ counters and it’s really like having different wallets.

What is the history behind e-wallets then?

In 1997, Coca Cola Helsinki launched vending machines that accept payments via text messages. The concept is similar and is believed to be the origin to all digital payment that we have today.  In 2003, millions of mobile phone users have done digital transactions with their mobile phone.

Google in 2011 is the first major company to initiate mobile wallet with NFC (Near Field Communications) technology where shoppers could pay, get points and redeem coupons.

Touch n Go’s e-wallet campaign at snack and dessert kiosks

A year after that, Apple Passbook installed functions like boarding passes, tickets and coupons. Apple Pay came forward in 2014 in the US followed by competitors like Android and Samsung Pay in 2015.

Check out the list of e-Wallet made available (and BNM approved) in Malaysia:

Alipay, CIMB Pay, kiplePay, Lazada Wallet, Maybank Pay, Samsung Pay, WeChat Pay, vcash (by Digi), TnG, Razer Pay, BigPay, GrabPay, FavePay and Boost.

That’s just to name a few! So are you ready to get on board of the cashless world?