Fintech

8 Features From YouTrip Compared Against Malaysia's MAE, BigPay & Merchantrade

Recently, YouTrip announced that it will be making its services available to the rest of SEA, starting with Malaysia and the Philippines.

The Singaporean digital wallet essentially simplifies the process of exchanging money when it comes to overseas spending.

Through its app and physical debit card, users can pay for goods and services in different currencies. They also boast charging no additional foreign exchange (forex) fees during transactions for overseas travels or online shopping. 

But with existing digital wallets in our market right now such as BigPay, MAE, and Merchantrade Money (Merchantrade), some Malaysians are questioning YouTrip’s edge.

As of now, there’s no firm date for YouTrip’s launch in Malaysia or any indication of how the product will function here if it localises its offerings.

Nevertheless, here are 8 features we can expect based on how it currently functions in Singapore and Thailand. We’ve put them up against the 3 Malaysian digital wallets mentioned earlier on.

The currency exchange rate for SGD to Malaysian Ringgit (SGD = RM3.05) below for Malaysians’ ease of understanding is accurate at the time of writing.

1. Multi-Currency Wallet

YouTrip can hold up to 10 different currencies / Image Credit: YouTrip and Unsplash

YouTrip is Singapore’s leading multicurrency mobile wallet due to its ability to hold up to 10 different currencies in a single account. 

Dictionary time: A multicurrency wallet is a feature where you can pre-load multiple different foreign currencies inside your digital wallet at a time.

“It’s like carrying a money changer in your pocket,” said its co-founder and CEO, Cecelia, in an interview with Vulcan Post.

MAE: N/A. It can only hold Malaysian Ringgit.

BigPay: N/A. It can only hold Malaysian Ringgit.

Merchantrade: Pre-load up to 20 different foreign currencies.

2. No Minimum Balance

Dictionary time: Some digital wallets come with an initial top-up requirement when you first sign up for an account. In layman terms, this minimum balance is there so that you don’t go walking around with empty pockets.

YouTrip doesn’t have one. When you sign up, users won’t be prompted to top up a minimum balance. There are no annual fees to maintain your account either.

MAE: RM8 will be charged for a successful application for those not coming from a prior Maybank account. The annual fee of RM8 is meant for the physical MAE Debit Card.

BigPay: You’re required to top up a minimum of RM20 for first-time activation and there is no annual fee.

Editor’s Note: Information in the above paragraphs have been edited to reflect greater factual accuracy.

Merchantrade: There’s a joining fee of RM10 for the Card. From there, a minimum of RM20 must be maintained in your Card at all times. The annual fee for an account is RM8 (the first year is waived).

3. Accepted At Any Merchant That Accepts Mastercard

Since the pandemic began, YouTrip began allowing users to shop online from foreign brands / Image Credit: YouTrip

The YouTrip card can be used anywhere that accepts Mastercard in Singapore and worldwide, whether online or in-store. 

MAE: Can be used worldwide, as long as the merchant accepts VISA.

BigPay: Can be used anywhere that accepts a Mastercard.

Merchantrade: Can be used at any merchant that accepts VISA. Merchantrade also supports Western Union transfers.

4. Wholesale Exchange Rates & No Transaction Fees

YouTrip will apply competitive wholesale exchange rates for purchases using the card and online transactions.

Dictionary Time: Wholesale exchange rates are the foreign exchange rates used by banks, large corporations and public and private institutions for large volume currency transactions.

Youtrip

There are also no currency conversion fees (otherwise known as transaction fees).

Dictionary time: A currency conversion fee is a tax imposed by the credit or debit card payment processor or ATM network to convert one currency to another as part of a financial transaction.

Investopedia

MAE: Transactions in foreign currencies are automatically converted from Malaysian Ringgit based on competitive foreign exchange rates. These rates also apply when shopping online from foreign brands. Transaction fees are unclear.

BigPay: Its forex is based on Mastercard’s exchange rates and there are no transaction fees for overseas payments.

Merchantrade: Determined by VISA’s International exchange rates, there is a currency conversion fee of 1% from the transaction amount. But if you’re paying with the MultiCurrency Wallet while overseas, this additional fee won’t apply.

5. Annual Transaction & Credit Limits

YouTrip has no daily transaction limits but an annual one of S$30,000 (RM91,377.30).

There is a credit limit of S$5,000 (RM15,229.55).

Dictionary time: Credit limit is the maximum amount of money you are allowed to hold inside your account at any one time.

MAE: There’s a maximum purchase limit of RM10,000 per month. Because its system is tied to a bank, it has no credit limit.

BigPay: The purchase limit follows the balance you have in your account, where the credit limit is RM10,000. Credit card reloads are capped at a maximum of RM1,000 monthly. 

Merchantrade: VISA’s limit of RM250 per tap-to-pay transaction applies here, but customers who want to make purchases of a higher sum simply have to key in their PIN number. The purchase limit for Merchantrade Money wallet follows the balance in the account, be it in Malaysian Ringgit or foreign currencies.

*Editor’s Update: Information in the above paragraph regarding Merchantrade’s purchase has been edited to reflect greater accuracy.

6. Overseas ATM Withdrawals

YouTrip allows users to withdraw cash from all overseas Mastercard, Maestro or Cirrus ATMs for a flat fee of S$5 (RM15.27) or equivalent in foreign currency per transaction.

Additional charges may be applied by overseas banks, which will typically be displayed in ATMs before the withdrawal. 

There is a maximum annual ATM withdrawal of S$30,000 (RM91,591.19) or equivalent in other currencies.

MAE: Free ATM withdrawals from any Maybank ATMs nationwide. However, the overseas ATM withdrawal fee is RM12 and its limit will follow the amount you’ve set in your account.

BigPay: RM6 withdrawal fee for local ATMs and RM10 overseas. The daily withdrawal limit is RM10,000.

Merchantrade:  Local ATM withdrawals is RM1.40 and RM10 overseas at International VISA Plus ATMs. There is a withdrawal limit of RM5,000 (or equivalent in available currencies) per day.

7. Expense Tracking

This feature allows users to track transactions paid through the YouTrip app and card. 

Transactions are grouped by dates and are listed with merchant names along with the amounts paid next to it. 

MAE: Track expenses from Maybank accounts, cards, QR transactions and even cash. These transactions can be sorted by categories like Food, Utilities, and Shopping.

MAE’s Expenses tracking feature

BigPay: Similar to MAE, with the added bonus of taking pictures of your receipts.

Merchantrade: Expense tracking is available for transactions made in the app or Card.

8. Doubles As A Public Transport Card

YouTrip doubles as an EZ-Link card (equivalent to TNG in Malaysia). Singaporean users can use the YouTrip card for public transport in Singapore and 20 other cities including Kuala Lumpur, Sydney and New York. 

To do so, they can simply activate the app’s Mastercard Account-Based Ticketing (ABT) function to enjoy this feature.

MAE: A similar feature is its ability to purchase a one-way or return KLIA Ekspres tickets through the app.

BigPay: The BigPay card allows users to pay for bus and MRT rides in Singapore and London. Unfortunately, BigPay does not have this function in Malaysia yet.

Merchantrade: N/A.

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Here’s a table to sum up several main points at a glance.

YouTripMAEBigPayMerchantrade
Multi-currency walletYesNoNoYes
Minimum balanceNoYesNoYes
Accepted merchantsMastercardVISAMastercardVISA
Currency conversion ratesNoN/ANoYes
Credit limitYesNoYesYes

Editor’s Note: Information in the above paragraphs have been edited to reflect greater factual accuracy.

Overall, the most similar app to YouTrip is Merchantrade, due to its ability to hold multiple currencies.

Both digital wallets also allow you to conveniently buy and sell currencies when the rates are good through the app. Once you’ve purchased overseas currencies, they stay locked at that rate and do not fluctuate. 

This means that if you were to buy SGD1 at today’s exchange rate of RM3.05, it will stay frozen at this rate even if it increases or decreases in the future.

These digital wallets are most valuable to those who either travel often for business trips or employ foreign workers who receive their pay in their home country’s currencies.

It will be interesting to see how both will battle it out over market share once YouTrip eventually lands here.

  • You can read more about what we’ve written on other apps here.

Featured Image Credit: YouTrip

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