SINGAPORE: Singtel and Razer on Wednesday (May 2) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on electronic payments, including making their current systems interoperable, as well as e-sports and gaming-related services.
In a press release, both parties said the strategic collaboration covers three areas, with the first being e-payments. Singtel and Razer plan to enable the interoperability of their respective systems to "create a seamlessly integrated regional network", subject to regulatory approvals.
The local telco had in March announced it intends to connect its Dash mobile wallet with its regional affiliates, starting with Thailand's AIS from the middle of this year. This, it said, will link more than 50 million registered wallet users with more than a million merchant points across Asia.
As for Razer, it announced last month its intention to acquire MOL Global for S$81 million, with the latter's online payment gateway used by major companies such as Lazada, Grab and Uniqlo. MOL handled more than US$1.1 billion of digital payments last year, the press release said.
"The interoperability of both networks will create one of the largest connected e-payment networks in Southeast Asia," it added.
This latest move by Razer follows CEO Tan Min-Liang's offer to roll out a unified e-payments system in Singapore to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last August, and the company's subsequent proposal to make this a reality a few months later in October.
The press release cited findings by Euromonitor International, which forecasts that mobile payments in Southeast Asia is expected to be worth around US$32 billion by 2021, a tenfold increase from 2013 as smartphone penetration increases.
BUILDING E-SPORTS CONTENT AND CULTURE
Besides e-payments, the two companies will also partner to "foster a vibrant e-sports ecosystem in Southeast Asia". They plan to jointly organise activities such as regional invitational events and cultivate e-sports talents in the region, according to the press release.
As for gaming-related digital media and telecommunications services, they said they will look into developing products and services such as broadband plans, mobile services and e-sports content for customers.
"Digital services from mobile payments to entertainment have become a big part of their lives, especially the millennials," said Mr Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel's International group, in the press release.
"Our collaboration with Razer, which shares our vision on e-payments and e-sports, will help advance our goal to empower customers to spend seamlessly across borders and experience the thrill of e-sports."
PC and mobile gaming is growing in Southeast Asia, with the number of PC online and mobile gamers projected to rise from 300 million in 2017 to more than 400 million by 2021, according to 2017 findings by market intelligence firm Niko Partners.