DBS Bank launches mobile wallet

Source: DBS Bank

DBS opens up new possibilities for mobile payment with the launch of its mobile wallet DBS PayLah!.

The wallet comes in a form of a mobile application (app), which allows DBS/POSB customers to send and receive funds instantly outside of the internet banking environment.

DBS PayLah! is the lastest milestone in the bank's mobile payment journey and is designed to drive greater payment usage. As a mobile wallet with a higher daily limit of SGD 999, PayLah also allows for greater flexibility in payment usage. For instance, it can be used to pay the helper's salary, give children pocket money and to pay for purchases with sole proprietorships such as blog shops or taxi rides.

While smart phone penetration is high in Singapore at 87%[1], consumers have been slow to adopt mobile payment. Some of the key challenges for mobile payment include concerns around security, privacy and convenience[2].

These concerns were little changed from 2011 when DBS launched its mobile banking application - mBanking. To encourage adoption of mobile banking then, the bank focused on creating a seamless and intuitive mobile experience. DBS also extended its Money Safe Guarantee to mBanking users to bolster confidence in the channel.

To lower resistance to new technology, mBanking initially provided access to only the most popular transactions - account summary, funds transfer and bill payments. Other features such as investment services, card activation and Q Cams were introduced in phases after consumers become more familar with mobile banking. As a result, DBS today has the largest mobile banking user base in Singapore with over 800,000 mBanking users.

mBanking remains one of the key elements of DBS' mobile payment ecosystem. Since 2011, the number of funds transfer conducted via mBanking has grown by more than 270% to 7.4 million transactions last year. DBS PayLah! will contribute to this growth by making peer to peer payment easier.

Mr Louis Foo, Senior Vice President of Consumer Banking Group eBusiness, DBS Bank Singapore, said, "Mobile payment is on an upward trajectory. While our customers have become increasingly tech savvy, mobile wallets remain a new frontier in the Singapore's payment landscape. Hence, it is important to address customers' concerns while providing a mobile payment experience that is seamless and intuitive. Innovation in this space especially needs to add genuine value to the user's experience."

Out of the over one million online transactions handled by DBS daily, more than 30% are mobile transactions, largely driven by consumers. To encourage merchant adoption of mobile payment, DBS is currently piloting 'MobilePay', a Point-of-Sale mobile app that allows merchants to accept payments on the go.

DBS mBanking, PayLah! and MobilePay form a mobile payment ecosystem that will help to reduce the reliance on cash in Singapore and further entrench the nation as a key financial hub.

Said Foo, "We have received more than 5000 sign ups for DBS PayLah! within a week of making the app available. This signals consumers' readiness to adopt mobile payment. With more than 4.4 million customers in Singapore, most consumers would have a DBS/POSB account and would be able to use PayLah!. Having a critical mass is important to drive awareness and usage of mobile payment."

DBS PayLah! can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store or iTunes App Store. One needs to have a DBS/POSB Savings/Current account, iBanking and a smartphone in order to use the app. The iBanking token is required for the first time top-up only.

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