After topping up your GrabPay wallet, you may be looking for a way to withdraw your unused cash to your bank account.
However, is this even possible?
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Can I withdraw money From my GrabPay Wallet in Singapore?
You are unable to withdraw your money in your GrabPay wallet to a bank account in Singapore. This feature is only available in the Philippines or Vietnam. The only way that you can utilise your GrabPay wallet funds is by making a transaction using GrabPay or invest your funds using AutoInvest.
In the Vietnamese version of the Grab app, the withdraw function is available.
However, this option is not available in the Singaporean version.
Why doesn’t Grab allow me to withdraw my money?
Here are some reasons why Grab does not want you to withdraw your money from the GrabPay wallet:
#1 Grab wants you to remain in their ecosystem
When you top up your GrabPay wallet, your cash is locked up in in Grab’s ecosystem. Since there is no way of withdrawing your money, you have no choice but to use GrabPay when making a transaction.
Whenever you make a GrabPay transaction, the merchant is charged a processing fee. This allows Grab to earn some of your cash as well!
This is similar to the 30% commission that Grab charges GrabFood merchants.
It is possible to invest these amounts using AutoInvest. However, when you decide to withdraw the balance in your AutoInvest portfolio, it can only be withdrawn back to your GrabPay wallet. You are unable to withdraw it to your bank account!
Watch out for auto top-up
GrabPay has an auto top-up function as well. When your GrabPay wallet falls below a certain amount, your wallet will be automatically topped up.
I would suggest to remove this auto top up feature if you don’t use GrabPay that often.
#2 Grab can use your funds to finance loans
When you top up your GrabPay wallet, you have already given Grab your money. From the time you’ve topped up to the time you use the funds for a transaction, Grab has this free cash flow.
If everyone who uses Grab has $1 inside their GrabPay wallet, and Grab has 1 million users, they will already have $1 million of free cash flow!
As such, they are able to use your cash to loan out to other businesses. This allows Grab to receive interest from your money and thus make some profits.
This is similar to how an actual bank works as well.
Grab wants to become a leading player in the financial services industry
Since your funds are already locked up with Grab, they will be able to use your funds to provide different financial services.
The concept is similar to Dash and Razer Pay
The lack of a withdrawal function is not exclusive to GrabPay. Other wallets like Singtel Dash and Razer Pay also do not let you withdraw your remaining balance.
This may not bother you if you use these services frequently. However, you are still leaving some money locked up in these wallets. You cannot withdraw your cash unless you make a transaction with that mobile wallet.
Which other mobile wallets allow me to withdraw my funds?
You may be frustrated at not being able to withdraw your GrabPay wallet balance. As such, you may want to consider using these mobile wallets instead:
#1 Google Pay
Google Pay uses your credit or debit card directly to make payments to a merchant. Google facilitates the transfer without needing to have a stored wallet.
For any P2P or PayNow transfers that you wish to make, you can do so via 3 payment methods:
- Standard Chartered
- DBS PayLah!
As such, your funds are directly taken from your bank accounts. You do not need to place your funds into a stored wallet!
Google Pay will provide some offers from time to time as well.
The only issue is that not many merchants have taken up Google Pay compared to other mobile payments. However, Google Pay is still rather new. I believe that this payment method will pick up pace in the near future.
If you are interested in earning a $3 sign-up bonus, you can read my review on Google Pay to find out more.
Similar to Google Pay, you can use your debit or credit card directly when you pay a merchant using Fave. Fave also allows you to connect your GrabPay wallet as well!
You are able to receive really high partner cashbacks.
However, you can only redeem it when you visit the same store in the future.
What I like about Fave is that you can use your credit or debit card to make payments, even if the store does not have PayWave. This allows you to earn rewards when you use your credit or debit card!
You can view my comparison between payWave and NETS to see how these payment methods are different.
Your PayLah! account is linked to a bank account that you have. As such, you can transfer your PayLah! wallet balance to your bank account at any time.
Even if you do not have a DBS or POSB account, you can still send your wallet balance to a Singaporean bank account that is linked under MyInfo.
DBS PayLah! is one of the most widely used mobile wallets in Singapore. It is the most versatile wallet as certain stores would only have PayLah! as a digital payment option.
However since you are not using a debit or credit card to make a payment, you will not receive rewards like cashback or rewards points.
BigPay is a mobile wallet by AirAsia, and they have a mobile wallet too. You are able to withdraw money from your BigPay wallet to your bank account.
However, you will incur a $1 flat fee for each transaction.
Should I top up my GrabPay wallet?
You may be wondering if it is worth topping up your GrabPay wallet. Here are some key pointers about this mobile wallet:
#1 Reward points can also be earned when you use your debit or credit cards
Grab does provide you with rewards points when you spend using your GrabPay wallet.
However, are these rewards really that enticing? You will still earn rewards points when you pay using your credit or debit card!
As such, there are not much compelling reasons for you to use the GrabPay wallet for your transactions.
#2 There is a minimum top-up and you can’t top-up in decimals
When you want to top-up your GrabPay wallet, there is a minimum top-up of $10.
Moreover, you can’t top up in decimals (i.e. only topping up a few cents). As such, you will most likely have some unused cash in your wallet!
#3 Grab only allows you to make payments with one payment method
Moreover for GrabPay, you are unable to combine payments. For example, you cannot pay part of the transaction using your GrabPay funds and the remainder using your credit / debit card.
This means that your unused cash will continue to remain inside, unless you top up another $10 to spend it elsewhere!
Topping up your GrabPay wallet does not make much sense since you are unable to withdraw your unused cash. With so many mobile wallets available in Singapore, perhaps you may want to consider the other alternatives instead!