The Problem with Paylah

tl;dr version is that we are much better off with a crypto currency, since this implementation is a joke.

Paper receipts are still better

When you pay for something with Paylah, the only transaction details you see are:

  1. (truncated) name of the merchant
  2. the date
  3. amount
Paylah transaction report

There are several problems with this.

We hear you on your feedback, Kai. Presently, you may view up to 61 days’ worth of transaction history within the app. Thank you. ~fp

— DBS Care (@dbs_care) May 9, 2018

So as you can imagine, I still have to hold onto paper receipts to actually figure out how my money was spent. This is 2018. This is the Singapore #smartnation and this is absolutely dire.

The balance is separate to your bank account

Your virtual wallet balance with Paylah!

I've complained to MAS about my money being tied up in "wallets". Paylah! isn't the only one to hold onto my money in a different account.

I have come to notice there are more and more companies offering a "virtual wallet" where you can topup credit.

Ezlink has been around for a while, so I've come to accept its quirks.

My complaint is now with other companies are doing the same thing, I assume with your blessing, so more and more of my money is tied up in these individual wallets.

And my biggest complaint is that it is difficult if not impossible to withdraw my money back to SGD from these wallets.

As a consumer if I put SGD credit into a system, I expect to be able to withdraw just as easily.

Who is making this difficult? Why is it difficult? What can be done?

MAS replied asked me to first make an individual complaint to each company, before coming to them. I then said, surely you're playing "pass the buck" and MAS concluded with:

MAS does not approve or prescribe specific measures or procedures to holders for the provision of their services and holders are able to implement their own refund procedures. Commercial entities offering stored value facilities are therefore best placed to address your concerns on their internal procedures and services.

Funny how there is Auto-debit offered by DBS, but no Auto-withdraw. I find this insulting.

It gets worse

Sometimes these wallet schemes are defunct and the onus is on you to get money back! Example the National library's defunct prepaid account closure. Hurry, not long left till the deadline of end of May...

When not in physical contact, transactions are based on telephone numbers. This is crazy. Numbers change in Singapore! People travel.

If the receipient you are transferring isn't enrolled in Paylah!, they simply won't get the money and you will get refunded after a week.

Singaporean banks have incompatible solutions, like OCBC Paynow causing untold confusion. Since DBS's own version of Paynow requires me to login every two minutes as opposed to Paylah's seamless FaceID login, I am not tempted to switch.

Message to bank developers: There is no need to mask OTP input. If you are prompting for a telephone number, provide a keypad, not a keyboard. Don't demand access to my contacts. Please make it easy to login to at least see detailed transaction history. Don't obfuscate or make it difficult to copy and paste my account number.


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