While China is still home to the largest and fastest growing mobile payment market, mobile payment adoption around the world is picking up speed. More retailers are expanding into mobile channels, including Uber and Starbucks mobile applications that lets customers pay with their phones on the go.
According to a report from Forrester, mobile payment adoption in Southeast Asia will increase over the next 5 years due to increased smartphone penetration, increasing population, favourable government policies and increasing investment in digital infrastructure, and a tech-savvy market demanding digital content.
Here’s a guide to popular mobile payment methods in Southeast Asia.
Doku Wallet by Doku
Doku Wallet has more than 100 merchants from a wide range of industries such as retail, insurance and electronics. The app can be used to make payments at partnering retail stores, pay for insurance premiums and make donations. Users can also transfer money to friends who don’t have a Doku account, or use the Doku Wallet to withdraw money from more than 10,000 locations across Indonesia.
T-Cash by PT Telkomsel
Owned by telecommunications operator PT Telkomsel, T-Cash is a mobile payment service that can be used to pay bills, complete purchases, and transfer money. Supported by NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, -Cash users can pay for their items with a simple tap. It is targeting to attract around 6 million new users by the end of the year, and will be partnering with up to 33,000 retail outlets to achieve its target. Existing retail partners include McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, and cinema chain 21 Cineplex.
MaybankPay by Maybank
Launched by Maybank Malaysia earlier this year, MaybankPay is Malaysia’s first mobile wallet. Currently, this is available only for Maybank card holders in Malaysia. Users just need to download the MaybankPay smartphone app and register their credit, debit or prepaid cards to start using the service. The service can be used at stores that carry the Visa PayWave terminals.
MOLWallet by MOLPay
Founded in 2005, MOLPay processes more than 5 million transactions per month, with an annual payment volume of over USD$500 million. MOLPay accepts cash payments for online payments at various 7-Eleven stores and Petronas stations in Malaysia, allowing customers without a debit or credit card to join in the online retail experience. Launched by MOLPay, MOLWallet enables users to top-up their prepaid cards, purchase online game pins and movie tickets, pay utility bills, and will soon allow users to also make donations, book and pay for taxi rides and food deliveries.
Launched in 2001 as a collaborative initiative between Smart Communications and Banca de Oro (BDO), Smart Money has established itself as a leader in domestic remittances and its over-the-counter service (Smart Padala). The domestic remittance market in the Philippines is huge and has mostly been a cash-to-cash market. This is partly driven by domestic migrants who travel to urban areas such as Manila for better employment opportunities. As such, Smart Money provides a solution for their customers to conveniently transfer money to one another.
Users can convert cash to Gcash through 10,000 GCash outlets nationwide, and use Gcash to pay government taxes, school fees, telecom and insurance bills. It can also be used to shop online from popular sites like Amazon and iTunes. GCash currently takes the lead in international remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers. However, the recipient has to be registered to GCash in order to convert GCash back to cash at one of the 10,000 GCash outlets nationwide.
Singapore has one of the highest rates of smartphone adoption at 88% in the world. To no surprise, there are already several existing mobile payment vendors in the Singapore market, including international players like ApplePay and Samsung Pay and domestic players that will be elaborated further below.
Dash is a mobile application that lets users send money to friends, pay utility bills, pay for merchandise at over 20,000 locations in Singapore such as NTUC FairPrice and BreadTalk, and pay for train, bus and taxi commute. The app acts like a digital cash card that requires users to top up, instead of storing credit card information. Users can also receive promotions from nearby retail partners time-to-time. Both Singtel and non-Singtel users can use the app, but Singtel users might find the service more convenient as the app can be linked to their Singtel bill.
With the smartphone application, users can send money to one another via their mobile numbers instead of having to go through the hassle of Internet Banking or manually transferring through the ATM machines. Users can also change the settings within the app to have incoming funds transferred automatically to their DBS/POSB bank accounts. Other mobile payment functions such as paying bills, topping up prepaid cards, and making charitable donations can also be done through the app. In addition, Apple Watch users can connect their app to receive notifications.
Launched in 2015, LINE Pay is a supplement service to the company’s main instant communication app. Thailand is home to LINE’s second largest market in the world with 33 million users, and one of the first few countries where LINE Pay can be used. Similar to other mobile payment applications, LINE Pay can be used to make purchases from the online LINE store, pay for bills and purchase airline tickets from Thai Smile Airways. In 2016, the app launched LINE Pay e-Wallet, a service where users can split bills and share payment, request and send money to one another.
About FOMO Pay Pte. Ltd
FOMO Pay is the first authorized WeChat Pay & Baidu Wallet partner in Southeast Asia, and was selected as one of the TOP 100 Asian Companies by E27, TOP 100 Startups by Red Herring Asia, and Top 8 by DBS’ FinTech Accelerator Program.
FOMO Pay provides a one-stop solution for overseas merchants by facilitating payment collection from the China market, including Chinese tourists. This comprises of online/offline Chinese payment modes, such as WeChat Pay, Alipay and Union Pay.
FOMO Pay’s business solution serves clients from a wide range of industries, including the telecom, publishing, tourism and hospitality, F&B, education and retail industries.