Benefit from interbank exchange rate and earn BIG points when you shop with BigPay.
BigPay, AirAsia’s FinTech venture includes a digital wallet app and prepaid Visa card that allows users to pay at over 53 million merchants worldwide without markups on foreign exchange. Users can also access AirAsia travel privileges and withdraw cash from ATMs globally.
This review covers all of BigPay’s e-wallet and card features in detail.
Zyane Tan is an associate editor at Finder. An experienced copywriter and content creator, Zyane enjoys writing on a wide array of subjects. When she’s not busy typing away, she’s reading and musing over a pint.
Formed in 2018, BigPay is the financial services venture by Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia. Its first offering was an e-wallet and an accompanying Mastercard, which attracted over 750,000 sign-ups by last July. In September, a cross-border remittance service was added in the app. Users can manage money on the go from their smartphone, transfer money for free and keep track of their transactions in real-time.
Using the airline’s customer base, the digital payments platform aims to provide AirAsia customers with a “cashless cabin” experience and also be able to use their BigPay e-wallets on the ground.
BigPay is available to customers in both Singapore and Malaysia
How does BigPay work?
BigPay is a digital banking platform that includes an e-wallet app and physical Visa card, allowing you to spend globally at minimal cost and keep track of all your transactions. You can transact in over 150 supported currencies without incurring any currency conversion fees when you opt to pay in local currency.
In addition, BigPay offers 1 AirAsia BIG point for every S$5 you spent with your BigPay card. The BIG points can then be used to redeem a wide array of rewards such as discounted flights, cabin purchases, seat upgrades and more.
What features are available with BigPay in Singapore?
BIGPAY comes with a wide array of features, including:
Make overseas payments. Spend in 150 supported currencies without any transaction fees at Visa’s wholesale exchange rate when you pay in local currency.
International ATM withdrawals. You can withdraw up to S$2,500 daily from all overseas Visa, Maestro or Cirrus ATMs (amount includes ATM withdrawal fee).
Overseas bank transfer. Send money to bank accounts in Australia, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh and Nepal at low fees and interbank rates.
Integrated expense manager Using analytics, you can keep track of your spending as transactions will be categorised by type of transaction, by merchant or by country.
Manage your card and account. The BigPay app allows you to view your balance, check your transactions and freeze or replace your card anytime.
Contactless payment. You can make contactless payments with your card for up to S$100 per transaction. Any payment after that will require you to input a PIN.
AirAsia privileges. Enjoy a host of AirAsia benefits such as processing fee waiver when you purchase AirAsia flights, discounts on pre-booked check-in luggage and meals, exclusive access to AirAsia sales and more.
AirAsia BIG points rewards. Accrue 1 BIG point for every S$5 spent on BigPay. The BIG Points may then be used to redeem discounted flights and other rewards on AirAsia. Do note that bank transfers and money transfers to other BigPay accounts will not be eligible for reward points.
Referral rewards. Earn $5 for every person who sign up for BigPay with your unique referral code. Both you and your friend will also receive a S$10 cash reward once they have successfully activated their BigPay card.
You can use your BigPay card at over 53 million merchants that accept Visa, both online and offline. In addition, your purchases will also be charged at the Visa’s exchange rate without any additional fees when you pay in the local currency.
What are the benefits of BigPay?
BigPay offers a wide array of benefits, including:
Free to use. There are no card fees and no minimum balance required to maintain your account. However, you’ll need to make at least one transaction per month to avoid being charged an inactivity fee.
Overseas ATM withdrawals. You can withdraw cash at all Visa, Maestro or Cirrus ATMs worldwide, up to S$2,500 per day (amount includes ATM withdrawal fee).
Bank transfers allowed. BigPay allows bank transfers from your BigPay balance at interbank exchange rates. However, there’ll be a small fee charged depending on the recipient’s country. To find out the exact fee for your transfer, click on ‘International Bank Transfers’ under ‘Payments’, select the destination country and enter the amount you’re sending.
Discounts on AirAsia. Save on processing fees and enjoy rebates on pre-booked meals whenever you fly with AirAsia.
Convenient top-up. Reload your value anytime with your local credit or debit card.
Instant notifications. You’ll receive mobile notifications instantly each time a transaction is made.
What should I look out for?
Although BigPay comes with a lot of benefits and features, it’s not without its disadvantages:
No multi-currency function. Unlike many of its competitors, BigPay does not facilitate the holding of multiple currencies. This means that you’re unable to spend in the local currency when making purchases overseas and you’d most likely pay extra on currency exchange and conversion fees.
Limited cross-border payment regions. You can only transfer money from your BigPay account to banks in the following countries: Australia, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Bank transfer fees. You’ll incur a nominal bank transfer fee starting from S$1, depending on where you’re sending to.
Overseas cash withdrawal fee. Your first withdrawal from an overseas ATM is free of charge, but subsequent withdrawals will cost 2% of the withdrawn amount.
Card replacement fee. You’ll be charged a S$10 fee for every replacement card you request.
Low transfer limits. It depends on where you’re sending to. For local bank transfers, Singapore users can only transfer up to S$1,000 daily and not more than S$5,000 monthly. Overseas transfers are capped at S$5,000 per day and up to S$10,000 per month.
Account balance cap. Users are only allowed to hold up to a maximum of S$5,000 in their account at any one time.
How do you sign up with BigPay?
If you’re a Singapore citizen or resident aged 18 or above, you can sign up for BigPay within minutes.
Download the BigPay app from the App Store or Google Play.
Launch the app.
Fill up your personal details (name, age, address and identity number).
Take a photo of your government-issued ID or passport.
Take a selfie.
Submit all supporting documents.
Allow time for verification (up to 1 working day).
Once verified, reload at least S$20 to your BigPay account.
Request for a physical or virtual card on the app.
The BigPayCard will be mailed to your preferred address within 5-7 business days.
Tap on ‘I have received my card’.
Enter the 3-digit CVC located on the back of your card.
BigPay is regulated as a Major Payment Institution by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Your funds are kept securely in a trust account, separate from BigPay’s own company bank accounts. Funds deposited in the trust account can only be used for refunding users and paying merchants, so you can rest assured knowing that your money will be protected even in the event that the company falls into insolvency.
To register for an account with BigPay, you’re required to undergo identity verification. This ensures that your money is safe and only you’ll have access to your account. Your card will also be blocked for 24 hours if the PIN is entered wrongly three times.
As for mobile security, the BigPay’s app is protected by a password, face or fingerprint ID. If your card is misplaced, stolen or may have been compromised, you can freeze it from the app immediately.
BigPay online scams
In the last few months, there were numerous reports of users receiving phishing calls, SMS and WhatsApp messages from scammers claiming to be representatives from BigPay. These unsuspecting users were asked to provide their log in details, including their date of birth and OTP, resulting in several unauthorised transactions.
BigPay has responded to the matter on 10 July 2020 and assured that none of its staff will request for users’ OTPs and other login information. They emphasised on the importance of keeping OTPs secure and send reminders that users should never share them with anyone. The company has also updated its security information page to help users identify potential scams.
Frequently asked questions
No, you’ll only receive AirAsia BIG points when you spend with your BigPay card. Bank transfers are not considered as expenditure,
Your account balance is capped at S$5,000 and you can only top up a maximum of S$4,999 each time. For reload via credit cards, the maximum top up limit per month is $4,999.
If your BigPay card was misplaced, stolen or compromised, make sure to freeze the card from the app. If you’d like to order a new card, you’ll need to pay a card replacement fee and request for the replacement directly through the BigPay app.
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