New service for mobile users to store cash, wire money from smartphones

SINGTEL has taken the idea of the mobile wallet one step farther by allowing mobile users - even those from StarHub and M1 - to store real money in their smartphones. They will soon be able to wire the money to other phone users and pay for online game credits with a few taps on their smartphones.

This is available through a payment service, dubbed mCash, launched by SingTel on Friday. The service is a feature in an app called mWallet, available on Google Play for all Android smartphones. The iPhone version will be available in a few weeks.

mCash is open to StarHub and M1 customers too.

Registration for mCash is done via the mWallet app. Users must provide their IC number, address, e-mail and mobile number during registration.

For now, users can only top up their SingTel prepaid phone cards using mCash. Person-to-person money transfer and payment for online game credits will only be available in the second half of the year, said Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO of SingTel's consumer division in Singapore.

"We are looking to fill gaps where it is inconvenient to pay cash," he added.

This target market is worth $59 billion based on the amount of money people withdraw from ATMs in Singapore every year. About a third of the withdrawn cash is spent on food and beverage, with 20 per cent spent on transport. The remaining is mainly used for person to person transactions.