The government today has kicked off the ePemula program which provides RM150 e-wallet credit to Malaysians aged 18 to 20 years old and full-time Malaysian tertiary students. One of the official ePemula e-wallet services, GrabPay decided to distribute the credit in a rather unexpected way.
Instead of giving away the RM150 allocation as a lump sum like other ePemula official e-wallets, GrabPay chooses to split it into multiple cash vouchers. These cash vouchers come in RM5, RM10, RM15, RM20, and RM30 nominations.
Based on the screenshot from Twitter user @t1nyhao, this is how Grab divides the RM150 credit:
This way, the recipients generally have lost some freedom in regards to how they can spend the free credit. For example, they can’t use the ePemula allocation to purchase a bottle of water for RM1.50 since the minimum purchase has to be RM5. Similarly, one definitely can’t blow the whole RM150 credit on just one item as you can’t combine multiple cash vouchers.
As for whether Grab has duped users in regards to the method that they used to distribute the ePemula allocation, technically they didn’t though. This is because Grab’s ePemula mini-site specifically refers to the RM150 allocation as “cash vouchers” and the same goes for the promotional banner inside the Grab app itself.
That being said, we do think that the company should have made it clearer by listing the actual breakdown of the RM150 cash vouchers. On the other hand, many have pointed out that the FAQ [pdf] released by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) clearly refers to the RM150 allocation as a singular “credit” and definitely not multiple vouchers.
Meanwhile, we are reaching out to Grab and MoF for their comments on this matter. So, stay tuned.