Singtel mobile wallet app gets Visa boost, accepted at twice as many shops

The latest version of Dash allows it  to be accepted at all the 50,000 Visa PayWave contactless payment terminals in Singapore.
The latest version of Dash allows it to be accepted at all the 50,000 Visa PayWave contactless payment terminals in Singapore.ST PHOTO: IRENE THAM

SINGAPORE - Users of Singtel's Dash mobile wallet app can now tap to pay for goods and services at twice as many shops as before, thanks to its partnership with Visa.

The latest version of Dash, unveiled on Thursday (July 20), comes with the Dash Visa function including a virtual 16-digit card number.

It allows Dash to be accepted at all the 50,000 Visa PayWave contactless payment terminals here, including those at fast-food chain McDonald's, Food Republic foodcourts, eatery ToastBox and FairPrice supermarkets.

Said Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel Consumer division's chief executive officer: "Dash's goal is to deliver ubiquitous mobile payments for everyone in Singapore."

First launched three years ago, Dash works like the ez-link stored value card. Deductions will be made automatically from the Dash mobile wallet when users tap their phones on local merchants' contactless payment terminals.

Users can also pay for goods and services from local online merchants or in locally-hosted apps using Dash Visa's 16-digit card number - like with any credit or debit card. In this way, Dash Visa is useful for individuals such as students who do not have credit or debit cards.

However, Singtel is still getting regulatory approvals for Dash Visa to be accepted by overseas online merchants such as Amazon United States, Book Depository and Uber.

Users need not be a customer of Singtel to use the mobile wallet. But they must download the latest version of the Dash app, available on Friday (July 21), to enjoy the new features.

Android phone users can enjoy all the new features of Dash. iPhone users, however, cannot use Dash's contactless payment feature; Singtel is still negotiating with Apple to enable this.

Dash works with six banks - Standard Chartered, CitiBank, DBS, OCBC, POSB and United Overseas Bank - to allow users to top up its value from their bank accounts.

Singtel said Dash, which also provides remittance services, has over 500,000 customers - with payments and remittance transaction volumes more than doubling since last year.

Said Ms Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa's country manager for Singapore and Brunei: "Singaporeans are becoming more digitally engaged and smartphones have become an integral part of their lives."

The rollout of Dash Visa is yet another effort by the telco to grab a slice of the growing mobile payment market.

Visa's internal transaction numbers show that seven in 10 Visa cardholders use their cards on their mobile phones - be it for in-app purchases or via e-wallets. E-wallets such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay were only launched last year.

Separately, the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Survey 2016, released on Tuesday (July 18), shows that more than seven out of 10 people are making in-app purchases for rides, meals or groceries using their credit or debit cards. This has gone up from six out of 10 people in the previous year's Visa study.