In May 2001, the national Infocomm promoter, IDA, initiated its maiden Call for Collaboration, in short, CFC, for mobile payments (m-payments) under its Wired With Wireless programme. The CFC invited players in the mobile payment value-chain to collaborate in the development of mobile payments infrastructure in Singapore...

Singapore, 11 March 2003 | For Immediate Release

Four out of five mobile payment trials go commercial

In May 2001, the national Infocomm promoter, IDA, initiated its maiden Call for Collaboration, in short, CFC, for mobile payments (m-payments) under its Wired With Wireless programme. The CFC invited players in the mobile payment value-chain to collaborate in the development of mobile payments infrastructure in Singapore. With the conclusion of the CFC this month, IDA is pleased to announce that four out of the five trials will go commercial. The trials also pave the way for greater mobile commerce growth by successfully putting in place an open and seamless mobile payment infrastructure to facilitate the collaboration of players such as banks, mobile operators, merchants and service providers, in offering consumers greater convenience and motivation to pay with their mobile phones.

According to an IDC report released in Oct 2002, the potential of the mobile commerce industry in Singapore is expected to reach US$403 million by 20051.

"The commercialisation of the M-Payments CFC trials will further the developments of mobile commerce in Singapore and bring about greater competition to the market. It will also offer more choices for businesses and consumers wanting to adopt mobile payments." said Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development Group, IDA.

Commercialisation of Trials

The four trials that are going commercial include Blink, Go Virtual, TeleMoney and YW8. The fifth trial, Gemini, a Wireless Public Key Infrastructure (WPKI) trial that leverages on dual-chip handsets, will remain a technical trial. YW8 and Go Virtual will be commercialized by NETS; TeleMoney will be commercialized by Systems@Work while Blink will be commercialized by Mobile Solutions and Payment Services. These trials are backed by the respective consortium comprising banks, mobile operators, service providers, technology providers and merchants. [Please refer to attached Consortium Factsheet].

In going commercial, the four service providers will seek new service offerings for consumers by expanding their merchant base, while leveraging on the open infrastructure to deliver mobile payment services.

Results of M-Payments CFC validate CFC approach in facilitating industry collaboration The results of the m-payments CFC validate the approach to using CFCs as a means to reduce market fragmentation by encouraging the collaboration of relevant industry players.

Global developments have shown a general trend of banks and mobile operators launching individual m-payments solutions which limits consumer choice. However, in Singapore, the M-Payments CFC has facilitated the development of an open, non-telco centric m-payments infrastructure.

"IDA's m-payments CFC has produced a significant first for Asia with the development of a non-telco centric infrastructure that allows consumers to enjoy a host of m-payments services, regardless of which mobile operator they are subscribed to. In turn, businesses and merchants also benefit as they can easily mobile-enable relevant services without having to invest in new payments infrastructure with individual mobile operators." added Mr Khoong Hock Yun.

Learnings from the M-Payments CFC

More than 11 m-payment services2 were deployed in the CFC, attracting more than 7,000 consumers who transacted at least once. The various consortia's experience and feedback provide key learnings that will help point the way for future mobile commerce developments in Singapore.

On the consumer front, the CFC revealed the following consumer preferences with regard to mobile payments:
a. Consumers are more likely to use mobile payments for six categories of services including the purchase of perishables (goods with limited shelf lives), bill and fine payments, unmanned vending payments, purchase of Internet and mobile content and applications, top-up of pre-paid accounts and finally, Person-to-Person (P2P) payments;
b. Consumers are less likely to use mobile payments for face-to-face retail payments, compared to remote payments;
c. Consumers prefer to use credit, if available, as a form of payment method for mobile payments; and
d. Consumers prefer to use existing handsets for mobile payments and are unlikely to purchase new handsets in order to conduct mobile payments.

Where businesses are concerned, the CFC surfaced the following considerations for merchants and service providers deploying mobile payment services:
a. Consumers aged 20-40 (and not teens) appear to be the most receptive to using mobile payments for the services deployed in the trial;
b. Registration processes and user interface need to be simplified in order to encourage greater consumer adoption;
c. SMS may not be well-suited for mobile payment transactions that are lengthy; and
d. Wireless PKI may be too costly to implement for smaller value mobile payment transactions.

IDA, with the help of the consortia, has complied a post-trial report of the CFC trials detailing the proceedings and learnings from the trials. The report can be downloaded from under "Key Programmes", "Call for Collaboration", "Mobile Payments".


Notes to Editors:

1. Figure obtained from "Asia Pacific M-Commerce Forecast and Analysis - Opportunities Await", IDC, Oct 2002. M-Commerce revenue is defined by IDC to include "pure m-commerce revenue" as well as "mobile assisted commerce figures". Pure m-commerce revenue refers to revenue generated from products and services purchased across a cellular network platform and all the spending on mobile data service that is necessary for the mobile transaction using the platform. Mobile assisted commerce figures refers to the use of mobile to assist in commercial transactions such as receiving a confirmation of the purchase through the mobile device and paying by cash/credit card upon delivery.

2. Fine payments, bill payments, exam results, movie/ event ticketing, retail POS, F&B sales, mobile content & applications, payment for carparking, Person-toPerson (P2P) payments, travel insurance purchases and pre-paid phone top-ups.

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a dynamic organisation with an integrated perspective to developing, promoting and regulating info-communications in Singapore. In the fast-changing and converging spheres of telecommunications, information and media technologies, IDA will be the catalyst for change and growth in Singapore's evolution into a vibrant global info-communications technology centre. For more information, visit

About the Mobile Payments Call for Collaboration

Launched in May 2001, the M-Payments CFC was the first in a series of CFCs initiated by the IDA. Through the M-Payments CFC, IDA sought to accelerate the development of mobile payment infrastructure - a vital enabling component of mobile commerce. The M-Payments CFC was designed to minimize the duplication of resources and to encourage collaboration among industry players including multiple mobile operators, multiple banks, payment providers, hardware and software vendors. In Oct 2001, IDA awarded the CFC to four consortia to trial five different mobile payment solutions. The CFC resulted in the collaboration between all three mobile operators with NETS (a payment provider owned by all three local banks) to pilot m-payments systems in Singapore. The CFC also resulted in Asia Pacific's first Wireless Public Key Infrastructure (WPKI) trial. More information on IDA's Mobile Payment CFC can be obtained from, under 'Key Programmes', 'Call for Collaboration', 'Mobile Payments'.

About the Wired with Wireless Programme

The programme is initiated by the IDA to jumpstart the development of wireless industry in Singapore and position Singapore as a living lab and business catalyst for wireless developments in Asia. It also aims to develop the entire wireless value chain - from infrastructure developers to access service providers, content creators and aggregators. It is a multi-pronged programme that will enable Singapore to have the best integrated wireline and wireless infrastructure for the seamless delivery of rich multimedia content, with focus on areas such as wireless multimedia, mobile commerce and location-based services.

For media clarifications, please contact:

Ms Ho Hwei Ling
Senior Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
DID: +65-6211-1996

Mr Kelvin Lee
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
DID: +65-6211-1726

Consortium Members
Consortium Trial Name Category/Role Companies
Singapore Technologies "Blink" Product Company 1. Mobile Solutions and Payment Services
Bank 2. ABN-AMRO Bank N.V.
3. Citibank, N.A.
4. Maybank
Technology 5. BCS Information Systems
6. CET Technologies
7. mPayment
8. WizVision
Merchant 9. C.K. Tang
10. Cathay Cineplexes
11. Metro
12. National Service Resort and Country Club
13. TicketCharge
Mobile Operator 14. Starhub Mobile
Marketing 15. Mastercard
16. Singapore Technologies Electronics
Nokia "Gemini" Equipment Manufacturer 1. Nokia
Financial Institution 2. The Development Bank of Singapore
Payment Provider 3. Network for Electronic Transfers (S)
Certification Authority 4. ID.Safe and Commercial & Industrial Security Corporation (CISCO Security)
Security Vendor 5. Baltimore Technologies
Smart Card Manufacturer 6. Oberthur Card Systems
Nokia "Go Virtual" Equipment Manufacturer 1. Nokia
Payment Provider and Service Operator 2. Network for Electronic Transfers (S)
Merchant 3. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
4. Bossini
5. Ritz Apple Strudel & Pastry
Systems@Work "TelePay & TeleParking" Technology Provider and Payments Enabler 1. Systems@Work
Facilities Service Provider and Marketing Partner 2. Suntec City Management
Technology Provider and Marketing Partner 3. Hewlett-Packard E-Services Bazaar
Security Solutions Provider 4. Gemplus
Marketing Partner 5. VISA
National Computer Systems "YW8 ("Why Wait?")" System Integrator 1. National Computer Systems
Payment Provider & Service Operator 2. Network for Electronic Transfers (S)
Payment Provider 3. The Development Bank of Singapore
4. VISA International
Telecommunications Operator 5. MobileOne (Asia)
6. SingTel Mobile
7. Starhub
Merchants/ Service Provider 8. Diethelm Singapore
9. Eng Wah Organization
10. National Library Board
11. National University of Singapore