Nerfed: Grab Blocks Top Ups to Wallet Apps and Remittance Services

Yesterday, on 25th November 2022, people in the Telegram group started to note that topping up of wallet apps like Revolut using Grab was no longer working. There wasn’t a formal announcement, but Grab updated a support document to clarify that they no longer supported payments to eWallets and Remittance services.

The examples given are not exhaustive, but pretty much include most of the popular apps and services people use:

  • Revolut
  • YouTrip
  • BigPay Singapore
  • ShopeePay
  • Lazada top-ups
  • Amaze
  • EZ-Link app
  • Remitly
  • Western Union

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Users could previously top up their Grab to get up to 1.7% cashback (with one of these cards), then top up these other apps which do not accept Amex as a payment method, using GrabPay as a conduit for cashback. I have zero information on how the cashback is funded, but I’m hazarding a guess that it costs Grab some money for there to be cashback on Grab top ups, at least partially.

Retail transactions – that is, buying things/services – are likely how payment cards like GrabPay Mastercard make money, so blocking top ups to eWallet apps is perhaps understandable from a profitability standpoint. Grab doesn’t want to be the one footing the cost of such top ups only for the funds to go to some other wallet app which then gets to pay for a bona fide retail transaction.

AXS payments still work

Still, one way of using your Grab wallet to pay for stuff outside of retail transactions persists. I highlighted such a method in my video on how to pay for insurance (around 4:40 onwards):

Such AXS payments still work – for now – for not just insurance premiums, but also many other bills you can find on the platform. AXS allows you to generate a PayNow QR for payment, and GrabPay has supported PayNow QR payments for a while now.

The reverse still works

As the Milelion noted, you can still top up Grab using wallet apps, which comes in useful if you want to withdraw funds from, say, Big Pay. That definitely helps in cashing out your NS55 credits.

If you are someone who uses Instarem Amaze overseas enough to get sufficient Instapoints for cashback, it’s also a way for you to withdraw funds in your Amaze wallet.

Funds from wallet apps top up as transferrable funds in your Grab wallet, allowing you easy transfer of funds to your bank account.

Grab has been tightening the noose around GrabPay, cutting rewards amongst other cost-cutting measures, so who knows how long these uses would last. As usual, stay subscribed to the Telegram for updates.

H/T: Milelion, Sole Guy, Bryan

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2 thoughts on “Nerfed: Grab Blocks Top Ups to Wallet Apps and Remittance Services

  1. Hi Sifu,
    Is there alternative way to top up Revolut while still earning some cashback?
    Previously I used UOB Amex to top up Grab, then to Revolut.

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