GO+ was a feature launched on Touch ‘n Go eWallet recently, after it was approved by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) to operate as a Recognised Market Operator (RMO) in January 2021. It’s essentially a low-risk investment that lets users earn daily returns with their balance in the app.
Together with Principal e-Cash, a money market fund managed by Principal Malaysia, they aim to provide investors with liquidity and income.
To establish what kind of investor I am, I’m all for low-risk and stable investments with no time or energy to keep track of my earnings/losses. It’s why I’ve dumped a few thousand Ringgit into my StashAway Simple account (think a non-committal fixed deposit) to earn some interest without much effort on my end.
So, the moment GO+ was launched with a minimum reload of RM10, most of my e-wallet balance went into it. Granted, it was only RM20 because I barely used the app in the first place, but I felt I had nothing to lose anyway.
But I Did Have Little To Gain
What drew me to GO+ was its high liquidity aspect. Not only would I potentially be making some daily returns, but I could also cash out anytime I wanted or spend it directly at tolls and accepting merchants. That means, if I was trying to pay for something with the e-wallet and didn’t have sufficient funds, it would automatically be drawn from GO+.
Cashing out also costs nothing. There are no penalties nor withdrawal fees—at least for now, according to its FAQ. Though, there are management and trustee fees of up to 0.45% and 0.3% per annum each.
Of course, such flexibility comes with its own cons. First off, you won’t be making much on GO+ as its projected return is only at 1.61% (at the time of writing). When I started 5 days ago, it was 1.47%, and I’ve only gained RM0.0029 in earnings after cashing in the initial RM20.
Due to such low returns, GO+ shouldn’t be compared to a fixed deposit where cash is locked in for a stipulated time and cannot be withdrawn. Instead, it should be compared to the interest you’d make from a general savings or current account at the end of the year.
GO+ is actively managed by Principal Malaysia, where investments are made through a combination of cash (at bank), placement of deposits, money market instruments, and debt instruments. That’s according to their Product Highlight Sheet which also stated that investments are generally placed for short durations of high quality to provide the high liquidity offered.
It Ain’t Much, But It’s Honest Work
Once you activate GO+, its icon will be displayed on the app’s homepage just under your e-wallet balance.
Inside, there’ll be options to Cash In and Cash Out, where you can use the balance from your e-wallet or add funds from your bank account. Daily earnings will be credited in your GO+ account the next day for Cash In transactions made before 4PM.
To Cash Out, you’ll have the same options as the former. If it’s to your Touch ‘n Go eWallet, the money will be credited instantly. If it’s to your bank account, the money will be credited after 1 business day, if the request is made before 4PM. As mentioned before, if you’re using your GO+ funds to facilitate payments, the Cash Out amount will be debited to the merchant immediately.
For me, GO+ basically gives me an incentive to keep some funds in my otherwise underutilised e-wallet. It’s not going to earn me much, but it does make me happy knowing that my money isn’t just lazing around, dormant like my toy poodle at home.
And I’m probably not alone in this thinking. In terms of growing its user base, having such a feature can attract more Malaysians to use and stay on the app for its services. Its RM10 minimum reload is also attractive to those unfamiliar with higher risk and longer-term investments, or who don’t have enough funds for them.
One thing to note about Principal e-Cash though is that it’s not a Shariah-compliant fund, but Touch ‘n Go has said that a Shariah-compliant fund option is in the works.
This feature has given Touch ‘n Go eWallet a leg up over its competitors, and it’d be a nice touch for the other e-wallets in Malaysia to follow in its stead.
While its return rate leaves more to be desired, GO+’s introduction to the market further opens up the possibilities of what e-wallets can offer, especially with more of the population switching over to them as a popular cashless option during the pandemic.