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Singtel and Razer to create one of the largest connected e-payment networks in south-east Asia

The Singtel Group and leading gaming technology company, Razer have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to foster strategic collaboration in the areas of e-payments, esports, gaming-related digital media and telecommunication services across Southeast Asia.

The strategic collaboration covers three areas, namely e-payments, esports and gaming-related digital media and telecommunications services.

The Singtel Group and Razer will leverage each other’s strengths and capabilities to engage the region’s consumers and audiences. The Singtel Group, including wholly-owned subsidiary Optus and regional associates Airtel in India, AIS in Thailand, Globe in Philippines and Telkomsel in Indonesis, reaches over 680 million mobile customers across the region. 

Driven by rising smartphone penetration, mobile payments in Southeast Asia is estimated to reach around US$32 billion by 2021, a tenfold increase from 2013. But the e-payments landscape in the region is currently fragmented across multiple platforms. Subject to regulatory approvals, the Singtel Group and Razer plan to enable the interoperability of their respective e-payments systems to create a seamlessly integrated regional network.

Both companies recently announced important initiatives in the e-payments area.

In March this year, the Singtel Group revealed plans to connect the mobile wallets of Singtel and its associates through an interoperable platform, which will link over 50 million registered wallet users with more than 1 million merchant points across Asia. This interoperable platform can also connect with other third-party payment apps offered by telco and non-telco companies, providing ready access to the Group’s customer and merchant bases. 

It will start with Thailand’s largest mobile operator, Advanced Info Services Public Company Limited or AIS, with the commercial launch of the service planned for mid-2018. The Group plans to progressively expand this service from the second half of 2018 to other regional associates, which include Airtel, Globe and Telkomsel, taking into consideration the respective country’s regulations.        

Last month, Razer announced its intention to acquire MOL Global, which operates one of the largest e-payment networks in South-East Asia. MOL Global’s online payment gateway is used by major companies such as Lazada, Grab and UNIQLO, and offers more than 1 million offline payment points across the region. MOL Global handled over US$1.1 billion of digital payments in 2017.

The interoperability of Singtel and Razer’s networks will create one of the largest connected e-payment networks in Southeast Asia. Mobile wallet users of Singtel and its regional associates will be able to access Razer’s e-payment merchant network of over a million payment points, the zGold virtual credit system, and Razer’s full suite of gamer-related digital services, which has more than 40 million registered users.

At the same time, Razer will deepen its penetration in Southeast Asian countries by adding Singtel Group’s more than a million merchant points across Asia to its network, as well as gain access to the Group’s more than 680 million mobile customers.

The number of PC online and mobile gamers in south east Asia is projected to rise from 300 million in 2017 to more than 400 million by 2021. In the esports area, the Singtel Group and Razer will take steps to develop a vibrant esports ecosystem in Southeast Asia by leveraging Razer’s strength as an esports pioneer and Singtel Group’s regional footprint. The two companies plan to jointly organise activities such as regional invitational events and cultivate Southeast Asian esports talents.

Both companies will explore the development of gaming-related telecommunications and digital media products and services such as broadband plans, mobile services and esports content for customers.

The Singtel Group and Razer started collaborating on exclusive gaming initiatives in 2017. For example, Singtel was the first telco to launch the Razer Phone in Asia in December 2017. Razer is also supporting Singtel’s community gaming events across Singapore. 

Mr Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group, said, “As a Group devoted to connectivity, we are making a big push to create an ecosystem of digital services for our customers. Digital services from mobile payments to entertainment have become a big part of their lives, especially the millennials. 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.”

“We are incredibly excited about the many opportunities Razer and Singtel can tap together to benefit millions of gamers and consumers in Southeast Asia. This is our opportunity to lead and accelerate the growth of esports and e-payments in a unified push across the region,” said Mr Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer.

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