SINGAPORE -- Singapore Telecommunications is expanding its mobile wallet service across Southeast Asia and India by linking the product with those of affiliated companies, in a bid to tap into growing demand for mobile payments among regional travelers.
The move will allow users of Singtel Dash, the company's mobile wallet app, to make payments overseas through similar services provided by other companies and vice versa.
The connected service has been approved for use across Singapore and Thailand, where it is scheduled for launch in mid-2018. Singtel said in a news release that it would be available to over 1.5 million people traveling between the two countries at more than 20,000 retail outlets.
Mobile payment systems are becoming increasingly popular with Asian consumers.
Over 77% of people in the Asia-Pacific region with internet access said made their most recent online purchase using a mobile, in a survey by market research agency Kantar TNS. In Indonesia, the figure was as high as 93%.
Singtel has been seeking investment opportunities abroad as new entrants and technological changes have intensified competition in Singapore's telecommunications industry.
The company has expanded its foothold in India by increasing its stake in Bharti Telecom, despite the fierce price war in the country's mobile market. It also signed an agreement with NEC Corporation earlier this month to build a high-performance submarine cable that will provide additional bandwidth in countries including Singapore, Cambodia and Japan.