HBO commissions Game of Thrones sneakers with NFC tags

HBO Asia x SBTG Collab brings 4 ‘Game of Thrones’ sneakers to celebrate final season — Click The City — “Each pair of Game of Thrones x SBTG customized sneakers are embedded with near field communication (NFC) chips powered by VeChain, a public blockchain platform that allows any potential collector the ability to verify the authenticity of each pair through VeChainThor blockchain. The NFC chips also contain exclusive behind-the-scenes videos of each sneaker design which can be played and viewed by anyone using the VeChain mobile app.”



Transit card providers to issue combi card that works in both Singapore and Malaysia

EZ-Link and Touch ‘N Go to introduce dual currency cross-border combi card — EZ-Link — “A first in Southeast Asia, the Combi Card will securely host both electronic wallets from EZ-Link and Touch ‘n Go. Targeted for launch in quarter four 2019, the card will first allow users to pay for urban mobility in both countries… To date, EZ-Link has issued about 30 million Cepas EZ-Link cards in Singapore and Touch ‘n Go has more than 23 million active Touch ‘n Go cards in circulation in Malaysia.”


Samsung Pay enters beta testing in Indonesia

Samsung Pay swipes into Indonesia — KrAsia — “Samsung Pay is partnering with Ant Financial-backed mobile wallet platform DANA to conduct closed beta testing on some devices… In the near future, Samsung Pay will collaborate with more digital payment platforms to expand its services in Southeast Asia’s most populous country… Samsung Pay is available in 24 markets. In Southeast Asia, the app has already landed in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.”



Singapore to roll out open loop payments on public transportation

New SimplyGo system to let bank cards double up as public transport travel cards — The Straits Times — “Commuters with Mastercard contactless bank cards can use it to pay for public transport rides under a new system to be launched on 4 April 2019. The SimplyGo platform will do away with the need to top up stored-value cards, with fares for rides reflected in commuters’ credit or debit card bills, just like their retail purchases. Visa card holders will get the same convenience later this year.”


Singtel adds Apple Pay to Dash mobile wallet

Singtel Dash goes global with Visa and Apple Pay — Singtel — “Singtel is expanding the payment capabilities of its all-in-one mobile payments app, Dash, to include international mobile payments. Dash customers are now able to use their Visa Virtual Account on the Dash app at millions of online retailers worldwide and merchant points that accept Visa contactless payments. In addition, customers can also use Dash on Apple Pay, making it the first non-bank mobile wallet in Singapore on Apple’s easy, secure and private payments system.”



Asian carriers begin rollout of cross-border mobile payments service

Singtel and AIS debut Via, Asia’s first cross-border mobile payment alliance — Singtel — “The Via alliance is the first initiative of its kind to connect both telco and non-telco mobile wallets across borders to create a region-wide payment network that will enable consumers to use their local mobile wallets when travelling. The Singtel Group will progressively expand this alliance to include other regional associates Airtel in India, Globe in the Philippines, Telkomsel in Indonesia, working within each country’s regulations, and non-telcos including China’s Ping An eWallet.”


Singapore begins rollout of QR code that works with multiple mobile payment schemes

Singapore introduces world’s first unified payment QR code — SGQR — Monetary Authority of Singapore — “The first of its kind globally, SGQR combines multiple payment QR codes into a single SGQR label, making QR code-based mobile payments simple for both consumers and merchants. SGQR will be adopted by 27 payment schemes including PayNow, NETS, GrabPay, Liquid Pay and Singtel Dash, and will be deployed progressively over the next six months.”


EZ-Link turns loose change into transit card top-ups

Wirecard partners with EZ-Link and Cheers to establish a tailor-made contactless card solution in Singapore reducing the usage of loose change in the country — Wirecard — “Through this partnership, users are able to convert their loose change directly into stored value on EZ-Link cards and EZ-Charms — Singapore’s most widely used contactless solution for commute on buses and trains, as well as lifestyle purchases island-wide… When making purchases with cash at select Cheers outlets, consumers just need to inform the cashier to top-up their EZ-Link directly with the change they receive. This minimizes any inconvenience and time needed to count the coins. No transaction fees are required to use the service.”


Citi to let customers check their bank account from within Facebook Messenger

Citi joins chatbot arms race, unveils Facebook messenger tie-up that will launch later this year — South China Morning Post — “Citi’s offering will be the first Facebook Messenger-embedded chatbot to let customers access their own financial records and potentially conduct transactions in future. It plans to roll out the service worldwide following its launch in Singapore in March.”


India and Singapore link up their national payments networks

PM launches RuPay in Singapore — The Tribune — “The RuPay digital payments system was linked up with Singapore’s 33-year-old Network for Electronic Transfers (Nets). RuPay users will be able to make payments at all Nets acceptance points across Singapore. Holders of Singapore Nets will be able to make online purchases on the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) e-commerce merchant website, using 2.8m RuPay point-of-sale terminals in India.”


Carriers in Singapore, India, Thailand and the Philippines to link their mobile wallet services

Singtel to launch mobile wallet tie-up with regional associates — The Straits Times — “The Singtel Group plans to roll out mobile wallet interoperability across its network of regional associates in Asia by mid-2018… Mobile wallet customers of Singtel and the group’s various associate telcos would then be able to make cashless payments in their home currency, using their home telco’s app, at physical merchants while abroad… Singtel’s goal is to bring the Philippines’ Globe, Indonesia’s Telkomsel and India’s Airtel on board from the second half of 2018 onwards, pending regulatory approval. Regulators have already given the green light for the partnership between Singtel’s Dash payments app and Thai counterpart myAIS.”


Ride-hailing app Grab acquires mobile payments startup iKaaz

Grab announces acquisition of Bangalore-based payments startup iKaaz — Grab — “The rich functionality of iKaaz’ mobile payments platform and its experienced leadership team will accelerate feature development and partner integration of GrabPay, Grab’s payments platform. Already Southeast Asia’s #1 ride-hailing platform, Grab is expanding across all markets in Southeast Asia in 2018 with the goal of becoming the region’s universal payments platform.”


One in three ‘connected consumers’ in India now use mobile payments

Kantar TNS study reveals the rise of mobile payments in India — Kantar TNS — “Mobile payments have seen a sharp rise with one in three (35%) connected consumers in India using it. The popularity of mobile payments in India is also revealed by the number of regular users, with 23% saying they use mobile payments at least once a week. The results of the study showed that India (35%) is ahead of other APAC countries like Indonesia (9%) and Philippines (7%) but has still a lot of catching up to do with the likes of China (94%) and Singapore (65%) where mobile payments have become a more regular habit.”


Issuers to adopt common QR code for payments in Singapore from 2018

Common Singapore QR code to be rolled out next year — Channel News Asia — “A common Singapore Quick Response Code (SG QR) will be rolled out and adopted by payment service providers in Singapore next year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Monday… Payment services providers in Singapore have also committed to update their mobile payment apps for consumers to read the SG QR. The newly announced NETS QR will be part of SG QR as will other payment service providers such as Singtel Dash QR.”


DBS launches developer platform that gives access to 155 banking APIs

Reimagining banking, DBS launches world’s largest banking API developer platform — DBS Bank — “With 155 APIs at launch for Singapore across more than 20 categories such as funds transfers, rewards, PayLah! and real-time payments, the platform will offer the world’s largest number of, and most relevant, banking APIs… More than 50 companies including household names such as AIG, McDonald’s, MSIG, PropertyGuru, as well as start-ups like Activpass, FoodPanda, Homage, and soCash have already hopped onto the platform.”


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