SingTel, Standard Chartered make a play for peer-to-peer mobile cash transfers

The service and smartphone app dubbed Dash is backed by SingTel and Standard Chartered Bank. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM DASH APP
The service and smartphone app dubbed Dash is backed by SingTel and Standard Chartered Bank. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM DASH APP

SINGAPORE - A new mobile fund transfer service is making it easier for people to part with their cash - digitally, that is. Even those who do not have an e-banking account can get started with a few taps on their smartphones, thanks to Tuesday's launch of the Dash app by SingTel and Standard Chartered Bank.

Billed as the first "neutral" mobile fund transfer service here, Dash allows any user to send and receive digital cash regardless of his telco or banking service provider. Its launch is the latest in a wave of similar launches by DBS and OCBC last month, and Maybank in November last year for their e-banking customers.

Available from the iTunes and Google Play app stores, Dash automatically creates two linked accounts during registration. The first is an e-savings account with Standard Chartered. This is for topping up the second, which is the SingTel-managed mCash digital stored value account which can hold up to $900 at any one time. Even StarHub and M1 mobile customers can download and use Dash.

Mr Allen Lew, chief executive officer of SingTel's digital life group said that the breakthrough is in the way Dash allows consumers "to use the mobile phone like an ATM". He said there are 59 ATMs - versus 65,000 smartphones - per 100,000 people here. "Imagine the convenience," he added.

Users simply specify the amount they wish to pay someone on the Dash app, protected by a username and a six-digit PIN, and swipe the screen to transfer the money. The recipient must also be a Dash user.

Consumers can also start using Dash to pay for rides with ComfortDelGro, SMRT and Prime taxis and their purchases at WingTai Retail, Food Republic, Watsons and 7-Eleven outlets. By the end of the year, Dash will have 20,000 acceptance points.

Dash also allows users to apply for a personal loan or travel insurance through their mobile phones.