Singtel, Razer in e-payment tie-up to unify cashless payments in South-east Asia

Telco Singtel and gaming peripheral firm Razer are coming together in a tie-up to create the largest e-payment network in South-east Asia.

SINGAPORE - Telco Singtel and gaming product firm Razer are coming together in a tie-up that both firms hope will create the largest e-payment network in South-east Asia.

They plan to link their respective e-payment systems to create an interoperable network that allows credits from one system to be accepted in another.

Singtel's Dash e-wallet has more than 500,000 users here, while Razer said it will launch its RazerPay e-wallet later this year. The RazerPay launch will come on the back of the tie-up with Singtel and Razer's earlier acquisition move on e-payment firm MOL Global that is expected to conclude on May 10.

Razer made a proposal to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in August last year to deliver a nationwide cashless system.

At the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Singtel on Wednesday (May 2), Razer chief Tan Min-Liang said: "We have meshed together what we are both good at to create the largest e-payment network in South-east Asia. We will (turn) not just Singapore into a cashless economy but Asia too."

On meeting the 18-month roll-out deadline he proposed to PM Lee, Mr Tan said: "We have already achieved this with the announcement today... I'm way ahead of the 18-month deadline."

He added: "Razer will not necessarily be the one to execute this. We will push this together with Singtel. It will be a great thing for the country if everyone uses the Dash app. We need to get the adoption going."

Mr Arthur Lang, chief executive of Singtel's International Group, said: "Think of it as the Star Alliance of e-wallets. We are not just catering to tourists from a certain country."

Star Alliance, which counts Singapore Airlines as a member, is one of the world's largest airline alliances.

Singtel has connected Dash with Thai telco AIS' "my AIS e-wallet" service so that both can be used by the same merchants when the two telcos launch the connected system in the third quarter of this year.

Plans are under way to link Dash with the e-wallets of Philippines' Globe, Indonesia's Telkomsel and India's Airtel in the second half of this year. This is expected to create a network of 50 million e-wallet users and one million acceptance points in the region.

Razer is headquartered in Singapore and San Francisco and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Razer manages the zGold virtual credits for gamers. Its payment platform could grow further if it succeeds in last month's move to acquire virtual currency firm MOL Global, whose payment gateway is used by e-merchants such as Lazada and Expedia.

MOL Global processed more than US$1.1 billion (S$1.47 billion) worth of transactions last year. MOL Global also has more than one million offline payment points in the region, such as those at 7-Eleven and Starbucks.

Mobile payments in South-east Asia are expected to be worth around US$32 billion by 2021, a tenfold increase from 2013 as the number of smartphone users grows, according to market research firm Euromonitor International.

Singtel and Razer also plan to jointly organise e-sport events and content to target the telco's 680 million-plus mobile subscribers in the region, including in Thailand, Indonesia and India.

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