Issues hit shoppers using GrabPay at start of 11.11 sales

Consumers say that money transferred into their GrabPay accounts for the 11.11 sales is now stuck.
Consumers say that money transferred into their GrabPay accounts for the 11.11 sales is now stuck.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Some Grab users had trouble paying for their 11.11 hauls in the early hours of Wednesday (Nov 11), as the app’s e-payment feature ran into issues. 

Regional sales manager Aaron Koh, 44, was stuck for over an hour trying to use GrabPay to buy a hairdryer for his wife from the Dyson website during the online sales event.

“From about midnight, I was unable to get a one-time-password (OTP) from Grab to complete my transaction and I was also unable to see my card details,” he said.

He was able to access his card details later and received an OTP at about 1am but he still could not process his payment on the Dyson website using GrabPay. 

The issue persisted when he tried again at about 6.30am. 

In a statement on Wednesday evening, Grab said it was aware of the situation and apologised for the inconvenience caused to its GrabPay Mastercard customers. 

“Our payment processing partner Tutuka experienced an approximately 16-minute downtime early this morning that began slightly after 12am and impacted a small number of our users,” said a Grab spokesman. “This issue has been rectified and we will offer assistance to impacted users.”

Mr Koh was not the only one with issues. 

Consumers say money transferred to their GrabPay accounts for the 11.11 sales is now stuck.

GrabPay is an electronic wallet system which requires consumers to use a debit or credit card to top up their account before the stored value can be used to purchase items. 

“The frustrating part about the Grab issue is that you have to top up the e-wallet first before you make payment, which means the money you have topped up is stuck inside and you have to use another provider’s card with the same amount of money inside to make the payment,” Mr Koh added.

Although he eventually managed to complete the transaction by using his United Overseas Bank debit card, Mr Koh is seeking a refund of over $600 which he had transferred to his GrabPay account specifically for the purchase.

Shoppers like Mr Kaw Shi En were upset with Grab’s apparent lack of customer support.

“I feel disappointed... because there were no updates and a lot of people were left hanging,” said the 22-year-old student, adding that the issue was compounded by the fact that earlier in the week, Grab had pushed out 11.11 deals for the GrabPay card and wallet features with e-commerce sites. 

“I was less affected because my transaction was relatively small, but people spending more money would have lost out,” he said.