As of 8th February, three non-bank e-wallet apps – Grab, Dash, and LiquidPay – have been allowed to offer PayNow features, allowing transfers between the e-wallets, and more interestingly: the new ability to withdraw these balances.
Probably one of the biggest e-wallet app we have in Singapore, having the ability to withdraw Grab balances would pique the interest of many users. Amex True Cashback gives 1.5%/3% cashback on Grab top-ups and if one can withdraw the money immediately after top-up, that’s essentially printing money… right?
Grab, of course, knows this quite well and as such have split the GrabPay balances into two: one of which is “transferable”, and the other being “non-transferable”.
|Non-Transferable Balance||Transferable Balance|
|Source of Balance||– Credit cards|
– Foreign debit cards
|– Local debit cards|
– Top up via QR code
– Top up via PayNow
– Top up via UOB host-to-host
– Funds received via P2PAdmin top ups, appeasement, marketing incentive top ups
|Balance can be used for||Paying for Grab services (e.g. rides, deliveries etc.)||– Payment for Grab services (e.g. rides, deliveries etc.)|
– Transferred out via P2P or withdrawn to bank account
This eliminates the ability to earn rewards from topping up Grab via credit cards (as well as an interest-free balance transfer of a month), before withdrawing the money out to your bank account.
People are now brainstorming ideas on how to maximise this opportunity:
- Topping up with some debit cards may still get cashback
- Topping up $500 using Singlife Visa Debit Card for the extra 0.5% p.a. interest (thanks JW 🌟 from the Telegram chat)
- Topping up via Dash counts as a debit card
, although Dash points may no longer be given for Grab top-ups(my suggestion, also thanks to SS and ZM)
- Using non-transferable account to GrabInvest before withdrawing as transferable? Something I thought about but I’m not sure it works (update: seems like a yes)
There’s also talk of one’s entire balance being entirely transferable after the Transfer button pops up, and you can find intrepid people discussing about such things over at the Telegram chat.
Dash has made it simpler/stricter, with an opt-in option that basically lets you enjoy the new PayNow features… as long as you give up all card top-ups, credit and debit cards included.
Like Grab, LiquidPay separates the balances into two different wallets, with one that can be topped up with cards and can’t be withdrawn, and another which can be topped up via PayNow and withdrawn to your bank account.
Not terribly exciting, especially when LiquidPay’s consumer-facing app fell off the radar since a few years ago, and I’m surprised to even see that the app is still alive. Apparently, they are very essential in the background processes of mobile payments, and according to a little birdy I know, LiquidPay is looking to expand their presence in the consumer space. Hopefully we’ll see interesting things from them soon.
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