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The ultimate guide to paying with your smartphone in Singapore
By Alvin Soon - 10 Jul 2017,10:10am

The 4 kinds of mobile payments

 

The ultimate guide to paying with your smartphone in Singapore

Note: This article was first published on July 16, 2016, updated on 17th April 2017 (DBS PayLah adds QR code payments), 12th June 2017 (OCBC Pay Anyone adds QR code payments), 10th July 2017 (PayNow), and 20th July 2017 (Singtel Dash adds virtual Visa account).

From Apple Pay to Samsung Pay, from Dash to MasterPass, there are more ways than ever before to pay using your smartphone in Singapore today.

There are, in fact, so many options that it can get downright confusing. I know I was confused many times over while writing this article — and that’s why we decided to compile this one stop, easy to understand guide to mobile payments.

Before we continue, let’s define what I mean by ‘mobile payments,’ because there are a lot of terms floating around. What we’re going to cover is how to use a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) to pay for things, either through a physical payment terminal or through the internet.

 

The 4 kinds of mobile payments

There are many ways you can classify the different ways you can pay via mobile (hardware versus apps? telcos versus banks?), but one easy way to group them is simply by where the cash is being deducted from.

When you do that, you can classify mobile payments into four kinds:

  1. Paying via credit/debit card
  2. Paying via a mobile wallet
  3. Paying via a linked bank account
  4. Paying via an NFC SIM card

Grouping them into four kinds is an easy way to understand mobile payments, but you should also know that there are also overlaps. In this guide, we split the various mobile payments in Singapore this way:

  1. Paying via credit/debit card
    • Android Pay
    • Apple Pay
    • Samsung Pay
  2. Paying via a mobile wallet
    • Singtel Dash
    • DBS PayLah
  3. Paying via a connected bank account
    • OCBC Pay Anyone
  4. Paying via an NFC SIM card
    • M1 Mobile Wallet
    • Singtel Dash
    • StarHub SmartWallet 
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