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  • Writer's pictureRick

Malaysia Tip: Use DBS PayLah! for Cashless Payments

We will not think of using cashless payment when travelling overseas because most payment methods are linked to local banks, except international credit / debit cards. The traditional way will be to carry sufficient cash for the trip — but either more than enough to prevent running out of cash or borrow after overspending. The downside of carrying too much cash is also the uneasiness and risk of losing the money.

In Malaysia, the most common scan-and-pay method is via Touch-&-Go (TNG) eWallet, DuitNow or bank-specific payment methods such as Maybank’s QRPay, etc.

For foreigners to Malaysia, including Singaporeans who drive into Malaysia, Touch-&-Go requires topping-up of e-wallets by means of purchasing top-up cards with PINs from designated stores and petrol kiosks. However, most convenience stores like 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, etc, do not sell TNG top-up cards.

A piece of good news for DBS (Singapore) customers is that DBS PayLah! can be used to make payments in retail outlets in Malaysia that use the DuitNow QR (pronounced as “do it now”). This can reduce the amount of cash that needs to be carried around when travelling in Malaysia.

The payment process is the same as in Singapore.

  1. Make sure you have setup your PayLah! account,

  2. Launch your PayLah! app,

  3. Scan the DuitNow QR with the app,

  4. Enter the amount to pay in ringgit,

  5. Tap “Pay Now”.

There is an additional feature when paying overseas: PayLah! will do a conversion of the ringgit amount to SGD before you pay, allowing you to know the equivalent in SGD right away.

Note that the DuitNow QR must be a static merchant code, which is usually pre-printed and displayed at the counter. DuitNow QR that is generated on a merchant’s Point-Of-Sale (POS) device after entering the payment amount is probably a transaction code and is not recognised by PayLah!

How about the exchange rate? It may be poorer as compared to the exchange rate of money changers. But the difference can be considered insignificant.


On 11 April 2024, the exchanged rate used by PayLah! is 3.405 while the average rate offered by money changers is around 3.47. For every RM100 transacted in Malaysia, the amount lost to exchange conversion is about S$0.55 for every S$29.37 paid from PayLah!. In other words, it’s just S$0.55 additional cost per RM100 spent — on that day. The exchange rate changed every day.

You can regard this as small fee(s) for the convenience of not carrying too much cash.

As comparison, a cash withdrawal from overseas ATMs using POSB card via Cirrus / Maestro will incur a S$7 service charge per withdrawal PLUS any transaction fees or taxes charged by the local banks or government services.


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