SingTel’s mWallet: Hype or substance?
There’s a lot of noise recently about the wonders of mobile money and how smartphones will bring about a dawn of the cashless society. Google Wallet has been at the forefront of this push in the United States, and here in Singapore, SingTel’s recently launched mCash is touted as a reinvention of money.
Facetious claim indeed, considering how credit cards and cash are still how people prefer to pay — even online.
But a lot of resources have been pumped into making mobile wallets work. The NFC Forum has the backing of some of the world’s top technology companies, and it’s quite possible that the technology will become ubiquitous in smartphones. Read more
Zap wants to change the Philippines' retail landscape using NFC tags.
The Philippines is ripe for disruption. With its economy soaring, consumer spend rising, and investment money flowing in, the nation’s tech startups are put in position to shape a new normal across industries and sectors.
Leading the charge is a posse of young entrepreneurs, defined not just by geography, but by the fact that they’ve received a lease of life from Kickstart Ventures, a PHP100M (USD2.45M) early stage fund that began setting its wheels in motion last year.
With 10 investments so far, Kickstart has become one of the most important catalysts for the country’s startup aspirations.
One of its investees is Zap, a company that, while shy to reveal its exact investment sum, gladly laid out its plans to transform how retail rewards is done in the Philippines.
Founded by Dustin Cheng, Justin Lim, Terence Lok and Angelique Uy, Zap is a marketing platform that connects retail businesses to consumers through web and mobile technology. It benefits businesses by making marketing as painless and targeted as possible, while at the same time giving them tools to gauge their marketing spend and track customer data. Read more
It’s been over a month since the major Singapore telcos — SingTel, Starhub, and M1 — released their NFC mobile wallets. Altogether, these apps have amassed thousands of downloads. Yet reactions have been mixed.
News arrived last month that NFC payment would be unveiled in Singapore very soon. Digital security company Gemalto announced that the consortium it is leading was ready to launch the services. Read more
If you’re using a mobile banking app in Singapore to review your finances, chances are, it is made by Tagit. Started by serial entrepreneur Navtej Singh in 2004, Tagit is a mobile solutions company specializing in mobile banking apps.
While it struggled early on for being ahead of time, Tagit is now working with many of the leading banks in Asia.
Their extensive portfolio includes banking apps for DBS, UOB, MayBank and Standard Chartered in Singapore, Commonwealth Bank and CIMB in Indonesia, Vietcom Bank in Vietnam, Citibank in India, CBQ in Qatar, and RBC in Canada. In Kuwait, they have developed a mobile payment aggregator app in collaboration with a local partner.
This is just the beginning. Besides signing up more banks as customers, Tagit plans to go full-force into the mobile payments space by creating apps that aggregates merchants and lets users easily pay for their services. It is also working on an open platform to let developers build apps using their SDK. Read more
As Singapore gets ready for a rollout of trial Near-field communication (NFC) services on the island, Gemalto, which leads the consortium in charge of the implementation, has released an infographic showing how NFC will affect the lives of ordinary Singaporeans. With an NFC enabled phone, users can shop and board public transport while leaving their wallets at home.
The sign-up process seems like quite a hassle though: Users will need a NFC-enabled SIM card and phone from their mobile operator. They’ll also need to contact their service providers to download their banking and transport cards to the phones.
Infographic below (click for full-sized version): Read more
Previously, we’ve written that 2012 could be a big year for Near-field Communication Technology. Today, Singapore has taken a big step towards making it happen.
Gemalto, a global digital security company that is leading an NFC consortium in Singapore, has announced that it is finally ready to launch a slew of NFC-enabled mobile payment services.
The consortium, which consists of Citibank, DBS, EZ-Link, and all three mobile operators in Singapore — M1, SingTel, and StarHub, is supported by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).
If you’re hazy on what NFC is, it is essentially a technology that, among other uses, turns smartphones into mobile wallets. It essentially eliminates the need to bring out physical wallets and credit cards. Read more
Singapore is the most mobile payment-ready nation in the world, according to the Mobile Payments Readiness Index by MasterCard. Philippines came in second in Southeast Asia, followed by Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
The Index gauges the readiness of 34 countries across the globe in three different categories: Peer-to-peer, mobile commerce, and point-of-sale. An overall score was given for each country, with a score of 60 indicating an inflection point where a country is ready for the mass adoption of mobile payment. Read more
Reza Ismail from Rofarez Solutions.
Ten startups pitched this morning at the Alpha Pitch for DEMO Asia scholars, sponsored by Microsoft. I’ve written about TranscribeMe, which could disrupt the transcription industry. But there are also other notable startups that presented, both good and bad.
Tapit Media, Australia
Tapit is an Australian company that is a pioneer in NFC technology in Australia and Asia. It provides NFC-based solutions for mobile commerce, coupon code distribution, ticketing, social community building, competitions, survey and brand reviews, and content delivery via NFC in Australia and Asia.
It’s off to a strong start, securing a list of lucrative deals to enable NFC networks. For example, it has a partnership with Clear Channel Singapore, an outdoor advertising company, to deliver interactive outdoor campaigns for brand like Coca-Cola and Fanta. Read more
NFC could soon replace your wallet. Photo: Tom Purves
Singapore may become one of the first nations in the world to see widespread adoption of near-field communication as a payment mode, if this report by Channel NewsAsia is accurate.
Up to 20,000 retail points and taxis may be NFC-enabled by middle of 2012, the result of a S$40 million (US$31 million) investment by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and seven other companies.
They are: Mobile operators M1, SingTel and StarHub, payment service providers Citibank, DBS and EZ-Link, as well as Gemalto, a digital security company. Read more
Joining Internet behemoth Google in the increasingly crowded near-field communication (NFC) hot tub is mobile company Sony Ericsson, who is putting NFC chips into its Android phones, the Times of India revealed (see also uses for NFC).
A while back, we reported that a tech blogger discovered some NFC functionality on the Google+ mobile app. Google has also been actively implementing the technology for its Google Wallet and Google Places services. Read more