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September Monthly Fintech News Summary



As the month of September draws to a close, we bring you a summary of the latest news that have been shaking up the mobile payments industry.

WeChat Pay


Despite the fact that Apple has its own Apple Pay, the tech giant has announced that its app store and music streaming service will now accept WeChat Pay in China. This comes after reports indicate that Apple is in dire need of alternative revenue streams to make up for the sales slump resulting from Chinese brands entering the premium phone market. As Tencent’s WeChat Pay works to close in on Alipay in China, this deal with Apple is expected to further boost its revenues in a market which they currently hold a 40 percent stake. In a similar fashion, Samsung is establishing a strategic alliance with WeChat Pay ahead of its launch of the Galaxy Note 8. The decision to team up with Alipay, and now WeChat Pay, is in response to the poor performance of the Galaxy S8, which only managed to capture a single digit market share in China.


Alipay


With WeChat Pay snapping at its heels in international markets, Alipay is not resting on its laurels. Alipay’s international expansion plans received another bump as it partners with Starbucks Malaysia. Through an in-app discovery platform, Chinese tourists can find the nearest Starbucks and pay for their drinks in RMB via Alipay. However, just as Alipay and WeChat Pay had to take years to build up trust in their mobile payment platforms back in China, the same uphill task is expected to play out in countries like Malaysia. A recent survey showed that up to 72 percent of Malaysians still have concerns about the security of mobile payments, indicating that there is still a long way to go before market acceptance.

In Singapore, Alipay got a leg up after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Singapore Tourism Board and Alipay to enhance Chinese tourists’ overall experience here. This collaboration will involve both parties sharing vital information thus giving local tourism businesses more exposure and to provide Chinese tourists with better access to information before and during their trips. Similarly, Changi Airport Group and Alipay have signed a five-year partnership agreement, under which they will collaborate to create more passenger-centric content and information on ongoing promotions.


Mobile Payment


The spotlight has recently been on Google as it plans to release a mobile payment service in India, the world’s second most populous country. The service ‘Tez’ will be released as an app that will let users link up their phones to their bank accounts to pay for goods securely in both physical stores and online. Tez will also incorporate cutting edge technology such as audio QR, which lets users transfer money by letting their phones through sounds. This comes amidst fears that the new facial recognition technology will lead to security breaches, as Apple’s customers voice their concerns over Apple’s latest facial ID technology for the upcoming iPhone X release.


SGQR


The local fintech scene was buzzing with excitement when PM Lee Hsien Loong spoke of the urgent need to transform Singapore into a cashless society as part of the government’s plans to transit into a Smart Nation. To achieve this vision, an industry taskforce, which includes FOMO Pay, has been formed to look into the development of a common QR code for Singapore. With the mobile payment industry in Singapore currently split into many different service providers, a common QR will serve to reduce further fragmentation and inefficiencies.

However, even with a common QR code in place, some have voiced concerns over inclusivity and a greater tendency to overspend as arguments against a cashless society. Others also point out industry problems such as the slow adoption of cashless transactions amongst small and medium-sized enterprises. While the decision to go cashless seems to have already been set in stone, as the QR code is said to be ready by year’s end, these issues raised by the public will undoubtedly be of invaluable help to the government and related organisations in implementing policies to transform Singapore into a cashless society.


Nets


The month of October will be a game changer for Nets as it dives into the world of mobile payments. Nets users will soon be able to store their bankcards virtually on their phones to settle their bills. It is also rolling out a digital payment infrastructure for merchants to include support for QR code and contactless payments. There are also plans to allow commuters to use Nets 2.0 cards to tap and pay for their bus and train rides starting from June next year.

About FOMO Pay Pte. Ltd

FOMO Pay is an authorized partner of WeChat Pay, Alipay, UnionPay, Baidu Wallet & BestPay 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, Top Fintech Startups in Singapore by Fintech Asia. FOMO Pay provides a one-stop solution for local merchants by facilitating payment collection from China market, including Chinese tourists. This comprises of online payment and in-store payment modes. 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.
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