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SingTel, Stanchart launch mobile money service

The mobile wallet, called Dash, will allow customers to transfer funds, pay for purchases and services, and apply for loans, the companies say.

SINGAPORE: Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) and Standard Chartered (StanChart) have jumped on the mobile money bandwagon on Tuesday (June 3) with a joint service that lets customers pay friends and merchants with funds stored on their phones via an app.

Called Dash, the service will allow smartphone users to make payments at around 20,000 acceptance points in Singapore by the end of this year, including retail outlets, convenience stores and taxis. Dash will also let users apply for loans of up to four times their monthly salary through their mobile phones, up to to a maximum of S$200,000.

Said Mr Allen Lew, CEO of Group Digital L!fe at SingTel: “Presently, we've in excess of 20 to 30 merchants, and we'll continue to increase that number with time. We believe we have enough merchants today to create a critical mass and anchor the product, but we'll always continue to bring on new merchants".

The service is one of many new e-banking and m-commerce options launched in recent months. MasterCard recently launched an online platform, MasterPass, to offer customers a more seamless payment process.

"If you actually do shop regularly online you know the pain of having to key in your 16 digit number all the time. You just have to register one time. The first time you do it with the 16 digit number. Once that's secured, every time you check out you just press pay with MasterPass," said Ms Julienne Loh, General Manager of MasterCard Singapore.

Analysts attribute the growing number of services to the recent launch of Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST) system, and they expect the greater convenience to lend fresh push to the mobile and e-money sector, which has been slow to catch on in Singapore. However, some industry watchers say security is a concern.

Mr Thomas Zink, Research Manager for IDC Financial Insights said: “The industry as a whole needs to move to a more holistic approach on how to manage security. Other technologies are coming into the game, such as better data analytics that can identify fraudulent activities or suspicious transactions, and there are a number of other initiatives out there that industry players are working on at the moment, but still there will always be an offset between security and convenience".

To ensure security for Dash, SingTel and StanChart say mobile users must enter a 6-digit PIN before making each transaction, which is capped at S$999 - the maximum capacity of the mobile wallet.

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