The basics: What are eWallet fees?
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering where eWallets actually derive their profits from (especially when they’re giving away so much cash-back), one of the ways is through fees charged to users and/or merchants.
Such fees could include merchant fees, withdrawal fees or fees for premium accounts. We’ll explore these further below.
Do note that such fees typically only make up for a small percentage of revenue for eWallet providers. Hence why most Malaysian eWallets completely waive it off – allowing users and merchants both to use their eWallet completely for free!
What type of fees do eWallets typically charge?
eWallet fees and charges in Malaysia
|For Users||For Merchants|
|Deposit fees||Transaction fees (MDR)|
|Withdrawal fees||Joining fees|
|ATM Withdrawal fees|
|Internal transaction fees|
|Currency conversion fees|
|Premium account fees|
Deposit fees may also be known as top up fees, and are imposed when you top up funds into your eWallet. Most eWallets in Malaysia don’t charge this fee, but most do have a maximum limit on the amount of funds you can store in your eWallet at any one time.
Withdrawal fees are charged when you choose to retrieve funds from your eWallet and transfer them into your bank account. Boost refers to this as Cash-Out, and charges 2% of the Cash-Out amount (up to a maximum fee of RM2 for each request)
ATM Withdrawal fees
Card-based eWallets like BigPay sometimes allow you to withdraw cash from select ATMs, similar to a debit or credit card. These may incur separate fees from withdrawal to your bank account.
Internal transaction fees
Internal transaction fees are also known as remittance fees. In recent years, many eWallets have introduced the feature to perform fund transfers to other users of the same eWallet. As handy of a feature as it is, you may incur a fee to send money via this feature.
Currency conversion fees
You might not associate this with eWallets, but bigger eWallets which accept cross-border transactions will typically have this fee. The best example? PayPal. PayPal charges between 3.5% – 4.0% depending on the currency into which the amount is converted
Account upgrade fees
Earlier, we mentioned how most Malaysian eWallets will place a cap on the maximum balance you can have in your eWallet. If you’re wondering why, such limits are imposed to mitigate any possible fraudulent transactions.
Premium account fees are one-time fees that you can opt for to upgrade your eWallet balance size if you find yourself in need of larger capacity. You’d be glad to know though, that most Malaysian eWallets will not charge you to upgrade your account. Instead, you might be asked to provide extra authentication of your identity (as with Boost).
TNG eWallet also allows you to increase your maximum eWallet size from the default RM200 to RM1500 upon linking your credit/debit card, or up to RM5000 once you register as an RFID user.
Transaction fees (MDR)
While eWallet users in Malaysia aren’t usually charged fees, this is where merchants get the short end of the stick.
Merchants looking to partner with certain eWallet companies may be charged a transaction fee or merchant discount rate of approximately 0.5 – 3.0% of every transaction made from customers using the respective eWallet.
Joining fees or signup fees are one-time fees merchants may be requested to pay in order to partner with an eWallet company.
What fees are Malaysian eWallets charging? (for users only)
These fees aside, look out for annual fees, account cancellation fees, or even fees to retrieve account info from your eWallet provider.
All in all though, us Malaysians sure are lucky! Most eWallets in Malaysia don’t charge any fees for users at all. Knowing that, let’s use the eWallets that are available to us to our advantage.
If you’re keen for more info on eWallets, check out our previous eWallet articles!