Pros and Cons of Using eWallets | eWhallet

Pros and Cons of Using eWallets

Shen Lee

EWallets may be all the rage, but that doesn’t mean you should use them without second thought. 

As savvy Malaysian spenders – we need to be wary of the pros and cons that come with eWallets before choosing to use one payment method over the other.

Often, it’s not a matter of which triumphs which, but choosing the payment method that suits our lifestyle best. Below, we explore where eWallets rise above – and where they fall short.

Pros of Using eWallets
Cons of Using eWallets
– Saves more money in the long run
– Frees up pocket space
– Lower risk of loss or theft
– You can’t use it everywhere
– Is highly dependent on your phone
– Can be a bit of a hassle to use

Pros of Using eWallets

  1. Saves more money in the long run 

For many, this is the sole reason why they use eWallets to begin with. In fact, eWallet savings are the sole premise behind our comparison site eWhallet, where we compile eWallet deals and promotions for free access by everyone!

Each eWallet company typically has a strong incentive to attract users. For Grab, that comes in the form of their Grab Rewards Points. For Boost, it’s their Shake Reward and Coins. 

These reward points can then be used to redeem discounts and cashback for future purchases made with the app. With consistent usage of the same eWallet, you end up saving money without having to actively cut back on expenses.

  1. Frees up pocket space

Notice that we didn’t describe eWallets as convenient

We’ll touch on that in our eWallets cons below, but there’s one fact that can’t be argued – using eWallets allows you to leave the house a whole lot lighter. No hard cash, no non-essential cards, no bulky coins.

For women who tend to carry heavy handbags around, you end up saving time by not having to dig through the contents of your handbag to look for your purse.

  1. Lower risk of loss or theft 

The issue of security is often brought up when the topic of eWallets comes about. While no payment method is completely risk-free, eWallets can oftentimes be the more secure option.

Think of the multi-authentication process most eWallets require to verify a transaction. 

Touch ‘n Go eWallet is a great example. Before every transaction, users are required to enter a security PIN as well as an OTP number. The company also provides a Money-Back Guarantee Policy in the case of unauthorised transactions.

Because eWallet accounts aren’t linked to your bank account or card, any instances of hacking will ensure that the hacker won’t be able to access your funds in their entirety either. Plus, not carrying physical cash also reduces the risk of you becoming victim to a snatch theft or ATM robbery. 

Cons of Using eWallets

  1. You can’t use it everywhere

If you didn’t know by now, eWallet usage isn’t universal. You’re limited to only merchants who have partnered with the eWallet you’re using. Then again, that goes for debit and credit cards as well since not all merchants have a POS terminal in place.

This isn’t a huge problem with more popular eWallets who consistently take on new merchants, from hawker stalls to laundry services. The key is to choose an eWallet which supports most of the merchants you typically spend at. 

  1. Is highly dependent on your phone

While being able to pay via your phone may be convenient, it also comes with its concerns. 

“What if my battery runs out and I haven’t got a power bank or cable within reach?”

“What if the internet connection is bad and I can’t access my app?”

These are all valid concerns, and serve as a reminder that just as with income – we should never rely on a single source alone.

  1. Can be a bit of a hassle to use 

Earlier, we mentioned that eWallets aren’t necessarily convenient. You might forget to top up your balance and find yourself frantically loading up your eWallet at the last minute. 

While paying via eWallets may lengthen the in-person payment process slightly, it’s a small issue auto-debit can easily fix. All you have to do is set up the auto debit function and customise how much you want to be automatically topped up. 

By increasing the friction of the checkout process, this limitation might even work in your favour by forcing yourself to second guess unnecessary purchases.

Pros and Cons: Cash vs Cards vs eWallet

Below is a brief comparison table of how these 3 forms of payment fare up to each other when placed side by side. There’s a lot we could cover here, so keep an eye out for our full, in-depth comparison.

Credit/Debit Cards
Accepted almost everywhere offline
Limited to merchants with POS terminal
Limited to merchants partnered with respective eWallet
Safety and security
Higher risk of loss and theft
Higher risk of exposure to third parties
Risk typically tied to mobile phone access
Value for money
Redeem rewards or cashback for spending with credit cards 
Accumulate reward points and more for spending 

Take advantage of eWallet deals constantly available
Annual fees

May incur small transaction fee (typically absorbed by merchant)
May incur small transaction fee (typically absorbed by merchant)

That concludes the latest instalment in our eWallet 101 series! Check out more articles on our blog here to expand your eWallet knowledge, or click here to find the latest eWallet deals and promotions.