Standard Chartered Bank and SingTel launch mobile ATM app
Standard Chartered Bank and Singaporean incumbent telecoms operator SingTel have launched a mobile money service called Dash, which the bank says will reduce reliance on physical bank branches.
Mobile payment services have proliferated around the globe in recent years. At the same time, traffic at bank branches is declining. The idea behind Dash is that customers are more likely to engage with banking services if they can use them via mobile.
At launch, Dash has three abilities. Dash Easy is a savings account linked to a mobile cash account. Customers can download cash into their mobile phone and use it to make payments. Dash Advance is a personal loan facility where customers apply through their mobile, instead of visiting a branch. Dash Abroad is a mobile travel insurance service.
“Dash is centred round the lifestyle needs and habits of a mobile Internet generation who are used to downloading information and content on the go,” said Allen Lew, chief executive group digital life at SingTel. “With Dash, we are offering them an unprecedented experience by allowing cash to be downloaded into their phones as well.”
The Dash mobile app is designed for Apple iOS and Android devices and is available to subscribers on all local mobile operators. Peer to peer payments are made through a swipe interface that was designed to “mimic physical cash transfer”, according to the bank. Customers swipe the funds across to their intended recipient’s mobile phone. Transfers can be made to anyone in the customer’s contact list.
As a promotion to encourage new users, customers will receive a complimentary S$10 welcome bonus ready to be used upon sign up. To use it, customers download the app and then upload the necessary personal details. Standard Chartered and SingTel are also hoping to capitalise on the popularity of social media to help boost the new service. By using the #needsanupdate hashtag on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, customers can bump up the interest rate on their account to 1% per annum.
Until now, mobile payments have been hamstrung in some markets by the relative lack of acceptance. There are exceptions – in Japan for example, mobile payments via NTT Docomo have been popular since the early 2000s. But in major global cities such as London, mobile payments have struggled to get off the ground. As a result, operators and banks are paying close attention to partnerships with retail outlets in an attempt to build critical mass.
For example, rival Asia Pacific payment system Znap, which was was created by Hong Kong business technology company MPayMe, focuses on integrating coupons, offers and deals into the customer’s mobile phone so that they can get a better deal from their shopping. Znap launched in 2013 and plans to become globally ubiquitous. Other recently-launched mobile wallet propositions include US-based Isis, which is backed by card issuers American Express, Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard and PoS terminal manufacturers Verifone, Ingenico, Vivotech and Equinox.
According to Standard Chartered Bank, there are 20,000 acceptance points for Dash in Singapore, including retail outlets, convenience stores, food courts and cafes. Customers will also be able to use the service to pay for public transport and taxi fares, without administrative fees.
“Dash is a suite of mobile money services which integrates three important components – mobile banking, mobile payments and mobile shopping,” said Lew. “By bringing together players in the banking, telecommunications and retail sectors, we are able to deliver a differentiating experience for consumers in terms of convenience, ease of use and accessibility. We are pleased to partner Standard Chartered, as well as the myriad of partners on our platform, to make Dash available to every mobile user.”