Singtel and gaming tech giant, Razer, have come together to create the largest e-payment’s network in South East Asia. The two have signed a memorandum of understanding as they seek to foster collaboration in the areas of esports, gaming, digital media, and Telecommunication services.
Under the agreement, the two companies will ensure each other’s e-payment system interoperates, and customers from the two sides can make payments using any mode of payment on offer
The partnership paves way for Singtel and Razer to leverage each other’s strengths and capabilities in a bid to broaden their customer base in the region. Subject to regulatory approval, the two plan to enable interoperability of their respective e-payments systems as they move to create a seamless integrated regional network.
Both companies also plan to explore the development of gaming related telecommunications and digital media products. There are also plans to offer broadband plans, mobile services and esports content for customers as part of the broader plan.
The partnership is of great importance given the size of the target market up for grabs. Interoperability of the two networks should result in one of the largest connected e-payment’s network in the region.
“Our collaboration with Razer, which shares our vision on e-payments and esports, will help advance our goal to empower customers to spend seamlessly across borders and experience the thrill of esports. We look forward to working with gaming partners and supporting community initiatives to grow esports in the region,” said Mr. Arthur Lang CEO Singtel’s International Group.
Customer Subscription Base
Singtel Group alone through its wholly owned subsidiary and regional associates Airtel in India, AIS in Thailand Telkomsel in Indonesia and Globe Philippines has access to about 680 million mobile customers in the region. Currently, the company has about 50 million mobile wallet users across its South-east Asian affiliate Telco’s, in addition to about half a million using its Dash platform in Singapore.
Razer’s full suite of gamer’s digital services, on the other hand, has more than 40 million users who when combined with Singtel Group mobile customers will result in one of the most extensive integrated networks
Singtel mobile user will be able to access Razer’s e-payment merchant network made up of over one million payment points as well as the gold virtual credit system and razor’s full suite of gear related digital services.
Razer’s footprint and customer base have also received a boost following the recent acquisition of Malaysia’s MOL Global. Transactions volumes could receive a boost given that MOL Global handled over 11 million transactions last year.
Singtel-Razer Partnership Synergies
Singtel and Razer coming together does not come as a surprise given what is at stake. Southeast Asia smartphone penetration market is poised to reach $32 billion by 2021. In addition, the PC online and mobile gamers in the region is projected to rise form 300 million to more than 400 million by 2021.
Given that there is, no clear dominant force in the space, joining forces makes a lot of sense if the two are to have any chance of accruing a substantial amount of market share and fend off any competition threat.
The fact that the region’s e-payment’s landscape is fragmented across multiple platforms means a lack of cross-border interoperability. By coming together, customers across the divide will now be able to use the two company’s mobile wallets wherever they are in the region.
According to Associate Professor Sarah Cheah of the National University of Singapore, Singtel and Razer should be able to extend their respective user bases as well as enhance the value of their credits by enabling access to a wider range of participating merchants.
The partnership will allow the two firms to develop a vibrant esports ecosystem in South East Asia by making good use of Razer’s strength as an esports pioneer as well as Singtel’s footprint. The two are planning to organize activities such as regional invitational events as they seek to cultivate south-east Asia esports and talents with a view of generating long-term value from the burgeoning marketplace.
Digital Payment Comparison
Even as Singtel and Razer seek to create a digital payment empire, they still face an uphill task to become a dominant player in the highly competitive business. Digital wallets popularity has grown over the years due to smartphones becoming an essential part of people’s lives. With the growth, so have digital payment services cropped up, all gunning for market share.
Standing in the way of Singtel and Razer to create the largest e-payment service in the region are UOB Mighty, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
UOB Mighty poses the biggest threat given that it has ties with over 400 organizations, which affirms its massive customer base. The app makes it easy for people to pay bills and fees online. It is also compatible with all the major mobile devices
The proliferation of iOS devices led by iPhones means Apple Pay has also curved a substantial amount of market share when it comes to e-Payments. Backed by one of the biggest tech companies in the world the app boasts of financial backing, sufficient for fending off any competition.
Android Pay and Samsung Pay are other e-payment services sure to make Singtel and Razer push for the largest e-Payment service an uphill task given they also control a substantial amount of market share in the business.
Samsung Pay, for instance, is compatible with several major banks and allows people to make payments in almost all retail stores. People also cherish android Pay, given that it makes shopping easy and hassle free.
Singtel through its subsidiaries owns payment licenses and capabilities as well as distribution and partner networks in the local markets. In response to the partnership with Razer, the company plans to make its e-wallet, Dash supported in Thailand through local Telco and AIS. Similar rollouts are also planned for the Philippines through the globe and in Indonesia VI Telkomsel.
Razer, on the other hand, is planning to launch an e-wallet RazerPay that would expand its footprint into the cryptocurrency space
(By Neha Gupta)
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