DBS launches mobile wallet DBSPayLah!

Nurdianah Md Nur

DBS paylah!

In a bid to encourage its customers to go cashless, DBS Bank — a financial services group in Asia that is headquartered in Singapore — has launched its mobile wallet DBS PayLah! on Thursday (29 May 2014).

The wallet, which comes in the form of a mobile app, enables DBS/POSB customers to instantly send and receive funds. While this function is seemingly similar to the online fund transfer service offered to Internet banking (iBanking) customers, DBS PayLah! offers a simpler fund transfer process, said Louis Foo, senior vice president of Consumer Banking Group eBusiness at DBS, during a media briefing yesterday (29 May 2014).

Unlike iBanking fund transfer which requires the recipient's bank account number and 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) code from an iB secure device, transfers via the mobile wallet will only require the recipient's phone number, explained Foo. However, the recipient and sender need to have a DBS/POSB savings or current account, iBanking and a smartphone. Transfers should not exceed S$999 (US$796) per day too.

Besides providing a convenient fund transfer process, DBS PayLah! features a set of security functions. Firstly, it is separated from a customer's current or savings bank account. Customers will thus need to top up funds from their bank accounts into their mobile wallet in order to send funds. Next, 2FA is required for registration, top ups and/or any changes to the login details to the mobile wallet. Foo also asserted that since the mobile wallet service is only available to its customers, DBS is able to monitor and track for fraudulent transactions.

The need to move into the mobile wallet space
When asked why DBS is moving into the mobile wallet space, Foo said that it "was a natural progression from mobile banking as its customers become increasingly tech savvy."  

Additionally, the mobile wallet space has potential for growth with the increasing use of smartphones. According to a Worldpay 2014 study, electronic/mobile wallets (23 percent) was the second largest contributor to Asia's e-commerce payment mix, coming after cards (37 percent). However, in Singapore, electronic/ mobile wallets are used to make only 5.5 percent of e-commerce payments.

"Mobile wallets remain a new frontier in the Singapore's payment landscape," said Foo. "Hence, it is important to address customers' concerns on security while providing a mobile payment experience that is seamless and intuitive."

The adoption rate of DBS PayLah! has been encouraging thus far. Since its soft launch last week, there has been over 5,000 registrations as of yesterday morning, which "signals consumers' readiness to adopt mobile payment," commented Foo.

DBS PayLah! is now available for download for free from Google Play Store or  iTunes.