Singtel adds more options for mobile payments

It rolls out new version of Dash app, SIM card that lets phones be used for transit payment

Singtel yesterday launched a new version of its mobile payment app, Dash, as well as a SIM card that allows users to tap their phones to pay for bus and train rides.

The new version of Dash, which allows users to use their mobile phones to pay for taxi rides, online and retail purchases, will enable more consumers to use the app.

Previously, the app worked only with a Standard Chartered bank account. But the new Dash app now allows users to link their accounts from five more banks - CitiBank, DBS, OCBC, POSB and United Overseas Bank - to top up their accounts on the app.

The updated app, which can also be used to transfer money to other users, now supports remittance to four countries: China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Payees will receive money remitted immediately in partnered bank accounts or remittance apps like GCash in the Philippines.

"Since the launch of Dash two years ago, we have continued to evolve and enhance our service," said Singtel vice-president of mCommerce Gan Siok Hoon.

Yesterday, Singtel also launched a SIM card, which enables the use of Near Field Communication (NFC). Users can use Dash to top up their NFC SIM card from their phones using a debit or credit card linked to the app, at a convenience fee ranging from 25 to 90 cents.

NFC SIM cards allow users to use their phones like an ez-link card on buses and trains. However, only NFC-compatible Android phones, specifically 19 phone models from makers LG, Samsung and Sony, currently allow users to do so.

Singtel's offering comes after the Land Transport Authority announced the function in March, with rival telcos M1 and StarHub offering NFC SIMs the same month.

"We believe the tipping point for Dash will come with transit payments, because it's something customers do on a daily basis - that will drive even greater adoption of Dash going forward," said Ms Gan.

There are currently more than 20,000 acceptance points for Dash, said Ms Gan. She declined to reveal how many Dash users there are here.

The Android version of the app has more than 100,000 downloads on the Google Play Store.

Marketing executive Cedric Phang, 29, who uses the app for taxi rides and for grocery shopping at FairPrice, said the updated app looks better and is more intuitive. "I'm interested in using the transit features."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2016, with the headline 'Singtel adds more options for mobile payments'. Subscribe