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Cash vs Cards Payments Malaysia

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When you go shopping there are multiple ways you can make the payment for your purchases. You can pay by cash, use your debit or credit cards and also pay using vouchers. The most common methods of payment used are cash and card. But, which of these is the most convenient and beneficial? Read on to know more.

Cash Payments

Cash payments have been used for a very long time. Coins and currencies are icons of the country it represents. They carry symbolic meaning to those who use them.

cash vs card Payments

Advantages of cash payments

Following are the advantages of using cash for making payments:

  • Cash is accepted everywhere.
  • You can use cash in a country you are visiting by exchanging your currency to the currency of that country.
  • It is a lesser hassle to use as you don’t need to have a bank account and there is no need for the PIN number to be keyed in. You will not have to put your signature on the receipt as you won’t be getting a receipt.
  • You will be mindful of how much you are spending when you are using cash.
  • Less marketing as you will not have to disclose your email address or your mobile number which the retailers may ask when you are swiping your card.
  • When you lose your wallet you will only lose the cash in hand and you needn’t worry about having to block your credit and debit cards.
  • You can avoid personal tracking when you use cash. The merchants will not know what you have purchased and from where.

Disadvantages of cash payments

Following are the disadvantages of using cash for making payments:

  • Cash can be misused.
  • There is no security for cash, if it gets stolen it cannot be traced.
  • Carrying a lot of cash is unsafe.
  • There are a lot of fake notes flowing around as well.
  • If you are travelling to a new country, you will have to go to a money changer and get it exchanged for the currency of that country.
  • As it is tangible, it can be damaged, lost in fire or destroyed.
  • If you have a card and it is stolen, you can secure your money by blocking the card.
  • Cash limits spending, you can only use the money that you have on you. If you are short of cash, you will have to come another day to complete the transaction.

Card payment

Cards are being used a lot lately and there are some who are still hesitant to use them at times. Cards do not take too much space in your wallet.

Advantages of card payments

Following are the advantages of using your card to make the payments:

  • You can use ATM cards, debit and credit cards. They all have their own unique features but they can all be used to make payments.
  • The cards are more secure.
  • If your card is stolen, the thief will require your PIN number and signature to be able to use it. You can call the bank and get the card blocked immediately after you realise that it has been stolen.
  • The cards are easy to obtain.
  • They are also very convenient. All you need to do is swipe the card at the payment terminal.
  • You don’t have to carry cash or a cheque book around. You can pay for big ticket items with ease.
  • The cards are readily accepted at all stores and retail outlets.
  • Time taken to complete the transaction is less as you will not have to count the cash.
  • Most banks offer cashback on certain purchases.
  • You can earn rewards on purchases made using the card. The rewards can be either redeemed in cash or vouchers.
  • A government saves a lot of money when they reduce production of hard cash. Once the hard cash is destroyed or damaged, it cannot be used again. The plastic cards on the other hand can be renewed and reused.

Disadvantages of card payments

The following are the disadvantages of using your card to make payments:

  • You may end up paying more than the actual amount as the cards charge you a certain percentage for conducting the transaction, especially credit cards.
  • You will be wasting paper as you are getting a receipt when you are using the card.
  • Not all cards are universally accepted.
  • Donation centres, worship places and small shops at the corner of your house do not accept cards.
  • If your card is stolen, your personal information is at risk.
  • The credit cards can be misused.
  • Debit cards do not help improve your credit score.
  • If you realise that your card is lost, and you realise it late, there is a good chance the thief has cleared out the balance from your account.
  • You identity is at risk if you use your card to make purchases online on an unsecure website.
  • If you have entered a wrong PIN, the merchant will block the card thinking it was stolen. This causes inconvenience and you will have to wait for some time to unblock it. You may be required to go to the bank to unblock the card.
  • If you lose credit cards, the banks will charge you a certain fee for reissuance.


Though both the methods of making the payment have their own advantages and disadvantages, it is depends on how the consumer is using it. If you are making big amount purchases, it is better that you use your card as carrying the huge amount of cash is a risk. On the other hand there are some places you cannot use your cards and you will need cash. You can carry some cash for small expenses and carry cards to make payments for big purchases.

Carrying cash helps you stay in your budget as you can only spend how much you have in hand. If you have a credit card, you will keep spending and you may end in a debt if you are unable to repay the balance. Debit cards also let you spend how much money you have in your account beyond which you cannot spend. Now that you know the advantages and the disadvantages of using cash and card, you can decide the mode of payment that suits your lifestyle.

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