S'pore mobile companies to cooperate on m-payment

M1, SingTel Mobile and StarHub Mobile will work together to construct a common, nation-wide Mobile Payment Solution, which will be essential in the push to develop m-commerce in the republic.

SINGAPORE--M1, SingTel Mobile and StarHub Mobile will work together to construct a common, nation-wide Mobile Payment Solution, which will be essential in the push to develop m-commerce in the republic.

The three will jointly evaluate and test the operational, commercial and technological viability of any mobile payment solution proposed by industry partners, the companies said in a statement today.

Proposals are expected to be submitted next month, with trials starting in October.

"This partnership reflects the openness and maturity of the three local mobile operators and redefines the competitive landscape for m-commerce," observed StarHub Mobile vice-president Chan Kin Hung, in the statement.

The cooperation is partly in response to a call by the Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), but also because the three rivals realize the importance of having a platform that will facilitate the payment for transactions for both merchants and cell phone subscibers.

"We regard the creation of a common mobile payment platform as fundamental to harnessing the full potential of m-commerce for all parties involved in the process," M1 CEO Neil Montefiore said in the release. "It will also contribute to a positive customer experience and that, ultimately, will determine the degree of success that m-commerce will enjoy in Singapore."

"This initiative will re-characterize the mobile competitive field and benefit mobile users in Singapore," added SingTel Mobile CEO Lucas Chow.

The cooperation among the three competitors is a rarity in the fiercely-competitive business, and Chan noted that "this initiative may be one of the first in the world."

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