SingTel and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) today rolled out a new mobile service, Dash. At launch, Dash consists of three mobile money solutions which are Dash Easy, Dash Advance and Dash Abroad. It is important to note that the Dash service is open to anyone from the three telcos and any bank.
Dash Easy is a Dash Easy Savings account (from SCB) that is linked seamlessly to a mobile cash (mCash) account. This is used to pay your friends with a swipe to their mobile phone screens or choose from your contact list, and to pay at more than 20,000 acceptance points in taxis and shops progressively rolled out by the end of the year. Do note that there is no additional administrative fees for using this service.
At launch, Dash partners include 7-Eleven, ACE Insurance, ComfortDelGro Taxi, Food Republic, KFC, Koi Cafe, Pizza Hut, Prime Taxi, SingTel canteen and lobby cafe, SingTel Shop, SMRT Taxi, Sodexo, Spinelli, Watsons and WingTai Retail.
Money transfer is two-way on Dash Easy; you can top up mCash account from Savings account and deposit money into the Savings Account from mCash account. There is no minimum initial deposit, minimum balance, fall-below fee or lock-in period. What makes Dash Easy unique is the fact that you can use social media to enjoy up to 1% per annum interest on your savings account. To achieve this, you need to have 10,000 #needsanupdate posts on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account.
Dash Advance is a personal loan facility which you can apply through your phone any time without having to visit the bank branch. This service requires you to upload photos of supporting documents and lets you see the monthly repayment amount dynamically when you indicate the desired loan amount and repayment period.
Approval in principle can be obtained in less than 60 seconds. You also can get an advance of up to 4X monthly salary or a maximum of S$200,000 with interest rates as low as 4.98% per annum (effective interest rate of 9.21%).
Dash Abroad is a unique customizable travel insurance service which allows you to apply for travel insurance from your phone. There is a wide range of coverage options to choose from, with the basic plan starting from as low as S$20. The travel insurance is underwritten by ACE Insurance Limited
Unlike existing cashless payment services, Dash does not require Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to work. All you need to get started is an Apple iPhone running iOS 6 and above or an Android smartphone running Android 4.1.2 and above, to download the Dash app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
The Dash service works on patent-pending technology developed by SingTel Group Digital L!fe which uses the two phones to detect each other using GPS location data and other key indicators. The "Location" or "Location Services" on the smartphone has to be enabled. For Android smartphones running Android 4.4 KitKat and above, the location services need to be set to "High Accuracy" mode. Below are two videos showing how payment can be done between two phones and for taxi rides:
The Dash service should not be confused with SingTel's mWallet service, which also uses mCash. As mentioned previously, Dash does not rely on NFC to work. mWallet, on the other hand, can only be used with a NFC-enabled smartphone that is certified for use. A NFC SIM card is also needed.
At time of publication, there are over 27 supported handsets listed on SingTel's website. SingTel's mWallet service is mainly restricted for making payments on the go such as the topping up of pre-paid cards.