Samsung Pay to roll out in Singapore this year

Samsung Pay is following Apple’s service into the marketplace. Source: Flickr

When Samsung Pay comes to Singapore this year, Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), OCBC Bank and Standard Chartered Bank will be among the banks offering the payment system.

Samsung is partnering American Express, MasterCard and Visa to start up the service.

The service will allow consumers to pay for goods using a Samsung smartphone. Samsung says it has more than 5 million registered users who processed more than US$500 million in the first six months of its launch, mainly in South Korea and the US.

DBS’s head of card payment Anthony Seow said: “As Singapore consumers move towards using more cashless payments, our priority is to introduce a comprehensive suite of mobile banking solutions to our customers.

“DBS’ partnership with Samsung Pay represents the next wave in card payment solutions, allowing DBS consumers to effectively use their smartphones as their credit and debit cards without compromising on security.”

An American Express spokesperson said: “We leverage our unique technology and capabilities to provide our customers around the world with seamless, differentiated experiences, giving them more flexibility and choice for how to pay. As part of that strategy, we are excited to work with Samsung on the expansion of Samsung Pay for our card members in Singapore.”

Samsung also said the service would be launched in China in March followed by Australia, Brazil, Singapore, Spain, Britain and Canada.

Meanwhile, DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta, has dismissed warnings that the city-state’s banks are facing a Lehman-style crisis, dismissing market fears of a financial meltdown.

“Singapore is not a basket case,” he said, adding that the republic had strong reserves and a robust financial system, and capital outflows were not as large as some hedge funds had estimated.

“The charitable view is that people are misinformed. The less charitable view is that people have an axe to grind,” he said.

As the banks adjusted to reduced oil prices, they had outlined efforts taken to remodel lending and sell assets backing certain loans, or had ensured that cash flows from their offshore support customers were able to cover debt obligations.

Although the market was bracing itself for a Singaporean banking crisis, non-performing loans (NPLs) were unlikely to hit crisis levels, the banks announced. The banks ended last year with a significant lift in net interest margin, but are expecting only weak loan growth this year.

Amid uncertain China markets and slowing growth at home, DBS would slow its wage growth and hiring, said Gupta.