(Update: I did try the app at Marina Square KFC. The counter didn't know what to do and had to look for the manager. The manager did know her stuff but was giving me the "why don't you pay with cash" look. Unlocking the smartphone, swiping the app and receiving payment probably took longer than paying with cash. When more start using Dash, merchant's concern would be if the payment process will lengthen the counter process.


Coincidentally, a friend updated on Facebook that he tried using the Dash ap at Compass Point KFC, but neither the staff or manager were aware on how to accept Dash.)

I downloaded the SingTel and Standard Chartered Bank app just after they announced it and I thought of reviewing it immediately. 

Knowing how vendors have to work out the kinks of their apps, I decided to wait a few weeks before reviewing it.

Now that it has been a few weeks, here are my thoughts.

1. Sign-up made easier


The first time I saw the Dash app, the sign up button wasn't in the front screen. You could only sign up after going through the list of SCB products. I guessed someone must have highlighted this and now the sign up button is at the front of the app.

Do note that signing up for the Dash app is to sign up for a SCB Dash bank account. If you are not looking to start one, Dash isn't for you.

Signing up for a new SCB Dash account requires you to snap a photo of your identification card, fill in some details and voila. 

If we can only bank in our cheques just by snapping a photo of it and skip the need to drop it in.

2. Pay Your Friends Via Mobile But They Need To Sign Up For Dash


After logging in, you can choose to pay friends or business by swiping up or down accordingly.

If you choose to pay your friends, swipe up and enter their mobile number. Your friends need to have a Dash account to receive the money. If they don't have a Dash account, they will receive an SMS to inform them that they have been paid via Dash and will be asked to sign up.

Maybe SCB hopes to capture more of the Singapore market virally. However, I see this more as a problem than a solution. SCB and Singtel need to spend money and time to achieve this quickly. 

Say I have Dash and I tell my friends I will pay them via Dash, they will chide me for not using cash. Peer pressure will get me to pash them cash. 

What if you made payment and your friend doesn't accept it? Dash will return your money in about 5 to 7 working days.

3. Payment At Merchant


To be honest, I have not made a payment yet on Dash. I did come across the Dash payment terminal at KFC but only after I paid with cash.

There was no sign at the entrance to state that "Dash Accepted Here" and when I was at the counter, I instinctively paid with cash. Only when I saw the Dash terminal, then it went "I should have enjoyed my free $10 Dash dollar here."




However, I assumed that the payment will also be easy. All you need to do is swipe down to pay merchant, enter the counter code and make payment.

Conclusion

Standard Chartered Bank and SingTel still have a long road ahead. Right now, except for free $10 upon sign up, there is no additional benefit to use the app to make payment - not many friends have a Dash account for me to make a transfer and there is no benefit for me to pay with Dash at the selected merchants.

Other credit cards offer rebates and discounts but Dash does not offer any for now. Maybe that will change soon.

For the merchants, while Standard Chartered Bank and Singtel may have gotten some of the big brands to do adopt this payment method, I have no doubts there was a lot of haggling on the cost of the terminal and the setup. 

Other merchants will not see the benefit of getting another payment terminal given the crowded space already at the counter. Besides the cost of the terminal, there will be the argument over transaction fees.

The lowest fees currently belongs to NETs and is about 1%, credit cards here are around 2.6%. As such, the transaction fee should be competitive to meet entice merchants to sign up.

And if merchants don't see any usage and they are still paying the terminal fees, it won't be any shock if they put out the terminal in less than a year.

2 comments

  1. Anonymous  

    July 1, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    I tried using Dash after a lengthy sign-up at Bedok Mall and when I gor to the KFC outlet there, they told me they don't have Dash yet.

  2. Aaron Koh  

    July 1, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Thanks for the comment. I understand your pain.

    That's one of the problems SCB and Singtel needs to solve.



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