The term e-wallet is broadly used to capture a variety of electronic and mobile payment services that often works through an app installed on your smartphone. To use your e-wallet to pay for purchases, you will need to either link the app to your bank account or top up funds to the wallet using other methods like credit/debit cards and top-up tickets, for example.

This concept also goes by several other names, including ‘digital wallet’ and ‘mobile wallet’. An e-wallet essentially allows consumers to make commercial transactions without having to use the physical wallet, although it is important to note that how e-wallets work vary, with different types of e-wallets offering different methods.

Going Digital

Payments are not the only thing that these e-wallets are capable of handling as each e-wallet player has their own range of features that will bring specific benefits to their target audience, including discounts and special offers along with loyalty card integration and incentives like cashback promotions.

TNG Digital Sdn Bhd, for instance, takes e-payment one step further with its Touch ‘n Go e-wallet, which incorporates the RFID feature as well as the TNG Card feature.

The RFID feature allows for users to experience a seamless and convenient driving and toll payment process, by having the system to scan the RFID sticker attached to each vehicle.

Toll collection gets expedited, and Malaysians can track, top-up and monitor their credit conveniently. The Touch ‘n Go e-wallet is the only payment platform that provides this feature for our users in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, through the TNG Card feature, users are able to add up to three cards to the e-wallet and use the card as a medium to pass through tolls. However, the toll fee will be deducted from the e-wallet first.

This feature is currently being pilot tested along DUKE Highway, and the response from the public has been very encouraging. Roll out across Klang Valley will be done in stages. With this, users will no longer need to reload their physical TNG cards at the Tambah Nilai lanes for toll payments; they just need to make sure that the e-wallet is constantly reloaded.

Since its inception in early 2018, the Touch ‘n Go e-wallet has garnered over 2.3 million registered users to date with users being able to transact for anything from F&B, lifestyle and shopping to paying bills and most importantly, mobility and transportation around Malaysia.

Interesting fact: At the moment, the Touch ‘n Go e-wallet has over 30,000 merchants with TNG Digital aiming to hit as many as 40,000 merchants within 1Q2019.

The company has also partnered with Mid Valley Megamall and The Gardens Mall to enable QR-payments through the Touch ‘n Go e-wallet across 80% of its retail outlet this year, thus allowing Malaysian shoppers to enjoy the convenience of going cashless at the country’s number one shopping destination.

Towards a Cashless Society

The year 2018 has certainly been a defining year for the digital payments landscape, with the digital wave being no small part due to Bank Negara’s vision for Malaysia to move towards a cashless society by 2020.

“Given the rate of development in today’s technology, transactions in Malaysia are projected to be almost cashless by 2025,” TNG Digital Sdn Bhd CEO Syahrunizam Samsudin tells Smart Investor.

Syahrunizam Samsudin
(Source: South China Morning Post)

The case is evident in the higher growth of online shopping among Malaysians, which indicates the fact that Malaysians are becoming more accustomed to shopping and transacting daily using mobile phones and computers without having to handle physical cash.

“On top of that, the government has always been in full support of a cashless society, with transparency and combating corruption as their biggest motivation.

“Thus, the emergence of new technology and payment method such as the e-wallet, coupled with the government’s push for a cashless ecosystem, and continuous shift in global trends will further enhance the growth of the fintech industry,” Syahrunizam adds.

Having been one of the earliest adopters of the e-wallet trend, China has been touted the poster boy for this trend. While China has fully embraced digitalisation, Syahrunizam believes that Malaysia has great potential to become a fully cashless society, especially since there is demand for a swift, more convenient access to products and services.

“The key is to enable e-wallet users to use it conveniently in various places to perform basic and daily financial transactions. Our immediate focus is to create a service in the hands of Malaysians that they will use.

“We believe that Malaysians are well on their way to becoming a cashless society. There is already an increased confidence among the public that they can last up to three days without having cash in hand, and we believe that they need a little nudge to make cashless an everyday habit,” says Syahrunizam, citing the 2017 Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study.

In fact, according to the study, Malaysians are increasingly becoming confident in going cashless with six in 10 saying they can go without cash for an entire day while close to half of them (41%) say that they could last three days without cash.

Six in 10 Malaysians have tried going cashless and out of this group, close to 60% of respondents said they have successfully gone cashless for at least a few days.