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Technology 101: The Headache of Having Multiple e-Wallet Apps

e-wallet credit card banking bank online financial

In today’s world, one cannot escape from performing financial transactions through the internet, e-wallets or pre-paid cards. We have become a cashless society considering the high risk of carrying cash around and the ease of performing financial transactions using online and e-wallet apps. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Selangkah eWallet Debuts

Just when you thought the country has way too many e-wallets for the spoil, here comes another:-

Over on the commercial side of things, the Selangkah app will now feature Selangkah Biz, which is a cashless solution that’s “designed for micro, small and medium enterprise merchants”.

From what I understand, it’s kind of like an eWallet that enables businesses who have not registered for any eWallet services to receive eWallet payments from “any eWallet provider”.

While that sounds great, the service doesn’t seem to be working for me just yet. The pages are there, but you can’t really tap on anything so I haven’t had to chance to try it out.

That being said, Selangkah will also be introducing Selangkah Pay which will allow you to pay for bills, summons and a bunch of other things right within the app itself.

There will also be a Selangkah Wallet that will enable cashless payments as well as serve as a platform for users to receive government aid.


When the COVID19 pandemic hit the country and way before COVID19 tracing app MySejahtera became prominent, the Selangor Government initiated the Selangkah app which made registration at businesses and tracing a breeze.

It is unfortunate that the Federal Government instead of capitalising on this ready-made COVID19 tracing app (with businesses already registered for Selangkah), choose to instead develop another app that not only competes with Selangkah but also makes the users have both apps in place as some businesses did not register for MySejatera back then. Is it because the Selangor is ruled by the oppositions?

Things have changed now with Selangkah basically dead in the water with MySejahtera now takes precedent and is mandatory at business sites. So it is not a big surprise that the Selangkah developers made the app to have more features and this included an e-wallet feature in an already crowded market.

I don’t see any benefits of having another e-wallet app that works the same as others and which may not be widely used.

My Personal e-Wallet Collection

Personally, I have a number of e-wallet cards and apps which was provided automatically due to the services I subscribed to. These include:-

Touch N Go e-Wallet

Touch N Go e-wallet app which is tied to my Touch N Go card which I use for the daily payment of toll charges. Since I am not using the RFID or the Smart Tag, I am still using the old way of taking out the card and touching it to the sensor. The reason for this is because the RFID and Smart Tag lane queue are longer than the standard lanes.

Having this e-wallet allows me to “top up” my Touch N Go card without the need to go to the petrol stations or toll booth (where the queue may be longer). The shortcoming however is that not all highways in the country (such as going up north) allows for e-wallet payment which means I still need to manually top-up the Touch N Go card.

It is mentioned that Touch N Go can be used for payment for parking but I am yet to see one that allows Touch N Go without the additional 10% surcharges even though it supposes to be waived. Paying using the standard parking ticket is cheaper for the time being.

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Setel e-Wallet

Setel e-wallet app which is used for fuel at Petronas petrol stations without the need to go to the counter to make the payment. It can also be used to purchase food & drinks from MyMesra Mini Mart in the Petronas stations.

This e-wallet also ties my Mesra reward card for points which I can then turn into a cash balance with a touch of a button. Initially, this app had a number of problems – it cannot detect the pump, prompts pump in use when there is no one around, etc – which at one point I got pissed off and uninstalled it.

But after a series of improvement, it is now a very good app to use considering you can pay for fuel from your own car and once payment is made (which only takes seconds), you come out of the car and start fueling without any hassle. It is an added value considering the COVID19 pandemic which requires you to minimise the contacts.

Bank e-Wallet

Bank’s mobile banking apps – well, the pain in the neck part of having this is that you cannot survive these days without having a banking mobile app that allows you to check your account balances instantly (a must when payday is around the corner), pay bills, transfer money to another account and with a QR Pay option, to make immediate payment at restaurants & convenient stores.

Now the same bank has introduced another app specifically an e-wallet which seems to be replicating the same functions as the mobile app. So why there 2 different apps from the same bank which comes with similar functions?

Lazada e-Wallet

Lazada e-wallet is something is available since I do purchase items from the Lazada site but I hardly use them because I can instead use my credit/debit cards, Touch N Go e-wallet or just do a transfer via online banking. I don’t really see the use of another e-wallet in place here since there are many options already available.

GrabPay e-Wallet

The only time that I used Grab on daily basis was when I was working overseas and we had to arrange pickup from the hotel to the workplace. Since the Grab app is tied to my credit card and can be used without any hassle of transaction approval every time I book a ride, there is no real need to use their built-in e-wallet feature.

Final Say

It is said that there are 53 e-wallet providers in the country with 47 of them is a non-bank entity and I pretty sure that there will be more in the pipeline and in future. The problem with these e-wallets is the target customers and the number of businesses that support them. Your e-wallet may be popular but it does not mean it will be accepted in all businesses.

Increasingly the market is also being crowded with other financial related apps namely investment apps that allows one o buy overseas stocks, equities and other investments.

The high number of e-wallets in the market is not the actual issue – some of the e-wallets is basically an extension of their existing apps (such as Grab and Lazada) and thus providing additional options for their users is the right next in the evolution of their apps.

However with too many e-wallet apps in the market but not many businesses supporting all of them, one needs to pick and choose the e-wallets that they actually need to use. Of course, at the very bottom, you still have the basic credit/debit card that covers all businesses including small stalls.

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