More Bad News for GrabPay – Merchant Fees Going Up

At the risk of stating the obvious, all signs point to an impending Grab-pocalpyse, and the bad news don’t seem to stop coming.

  • 18th Dec 2019: Mastercard reclasses Grab top-ups, excluding all Mastercard cards from getting rewards
  • 1st Mar 2020: Amex to stop giving points for Grab top-ups
  • 2nd Mar 2020: GrabRewards will be nerfed
  • 16th Mar 2020: UOB One will stop giving cashback on Grab top-ups

A little birdy has told me that from 17th Feb onwards (that’s tomorrow), more bad news will follow.

Merchants who signed up for Grab over the past year or so have been paying around 0.8% fees for Grab collections via QR. Some businesses who joined much earlier have even been enjoying no fees.

This will change from 17th February onwards as Grab is bringing most businesses’ merchant fee to 1% excluding GST.

Is this the death knell for GrabPay QR codes at places that don’t typically accept credit cards? Small businesses tend to be very averse to such costs, and I suspect Singaporeans’ usage of cashless payments isn’t strong enough to encourage some merchants to continue offering such payments if a fee is involved.

Already, I’ve heard stories of hawkers imposing a 10-cent surcharge for GrabPay payments, and I’ve personally encountered a minimart who wanted to charge 10% (!!!) more.

Even without fees, I’ve seen hawkers take down QR payments ostensibly because it’s more troublesome than cash, although some may speculate it’s due to the fact that it’s easier to hide from the taxman if your payments aren’t digital. A 1% fee may well push many mom and pop shops into hiding their GrabPay QR codes.

If you have been preloading Grab credits with an intention to spend it at places accepting GrabPay QR, do be wary of shops that might either charge you a hefty surcharge, or take down this payment channel altogether.

1 thought on “More Bad News for GrabPay – Merchant Fees Going Up

  1. i am one of the grab merchant, and sorry to say i am not going to use grabpay as my payment method because of the 1% MDR (I also realize few big merchant not using it recently).

    Boost and Touch No Go still offer 0% MDR, i only go for these 2 now.

    And the grab rewards are getting lesser. Top up using Maybank credit card also cannot earn any treatpoints. Is a big lost to Grab merchant.

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