eWallet had boomed in China, and the rest of the world is clamoring to catch up. Both merchants and operators are really pushing the adoption of eWallet. Right now in Malaysia it’s a battle between Boost, GrabPay & Touch N Go.
On the technical and business side, eWallet made it easier and cheaper to receive payments. As somebody on that side, I can appreciate its benefits.
However, end users might be on the losing end adopting eWallet to replace cash.
Why? The absence of pain.
Pain is actually a good thing, it tells you something is harmful. It’s a useful signal.
Carrying around heavy wallet is a pain. Seeing your wallet shrinks after paying is a pain. Protecting your wallet from theft is a pain.
Those are all signals that engaging with the market is a risky proposition. You might get scammed, swindled, or hoodwinked.
eWallet eliminates those pains. In fact, eWallet seeks to give even more pleasure. Little drips of dopamine that your brain craves.
In a cash transaction, your pleasure of buying an item is countered with pain of seeing your wallet emptying. eWallet eliminates that pain.
To top it of, eWallet give you pleasure by issuing bonus points. Human minds are hapless when given the chance to hoard, no matter how middling the value is.
Consumer might spend more to gain that small pleasure of getting points instead of opting for cash. Things get even worse when the app starts to give randomized reward. That made users hooked to spend even more.
When topping up an eWallet, the consumer mind already set to spend it. Worse still, topping up an eWallet requires the user to top up more than the actual spending.
Once there’s money in the eWallet, the app starts to nag the consumer to buy stuffs. Cash wallets never do that, they keep your money safe. You can hide money in the nooks and crannies of your wallet to make you ‘forget’ having the money so you don’t spend. There’s no such thing in eWallets, it’s sole existence is to make you spend.
So, watch out when using eWallet. Stay safe shopping.