Singapore-based Carousell, which operates an online marketplace, on Wednesday (June 20) announced the launch of its long-awaited mobile payment service, CarouPay, within the Carousell app.
This ‘integrated payment system is a joint collaboration of CarouPay with DBS, Stripe, and Visa.
Carousellers will now get to choose either to transact online or do an in-person transaction. Simply by enabling the service as a payment option when listing will allow the seller to reach out to buyers looking to transact online.
It’s effectively seamless, allowing the entire transaction to be done without leaving the app.
Users get to pay via DBS PayLah!, a DBS payment wallet and any credit or debit cards, not limited to just DBS, Carousell’s partner, according to the Business Times.
Established in 2012, Carousell has achieved much – expanding quickly across 7 markets like Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and even Australia. It has also recently raised $85-million via a Rakuten Ventures and EDBI led Series C funding round – with a clear aim to roll out AI and machine learning-backed features to offer a one-stop user-friendly peer-to-peer mobile app.
It’s noteworthy to highlight DBS’s growing active partnership with Carousell, since its recent addition as a new investor in Carousell’s Series C funding round, showing Carousell’s increasing support in the region.
However, like all burgeoning markets, Carousell is not immune to competition. It has finally joined Grab in the payments sector to boost its e-commerce platform.
The Southeast Asia region huge growth prospect is an open secret.
Min-Liang Tan, Razer’s co-founder, and CEO, once said ‘’Southeast Asia represents one of the highest GDP growth regions with one of the youngest demographics in the world’’
Credit Suisse also forecasted the CAGR for Southeast Asia e-commerce sector to be at a staggering 32%, making this region one of the hottest area for competition.
Just like the counterparts in China such as e-commerce giant Alibaba that expanded into payment services like Alipay, the e-commerce players in the region has done the same. Sea’s Shopee, for example also offers Sea’s version of AirPay.
Furthermore, other sector players are also entering the mobile wallet sector.
Grab, though traditionally a ride-hailing app, started its foray into mobile payment services last year and has even started to extend the financial services into micro-loans and insurance options for Grab drivers.
In fact, Jason Thompson, the Managing Director for GrabPay Southeast Asia, also stated clearly that the end goal is to become the ‘unilateral wallet’ for the region, making it a formidable opponent, with first mover advantage.
Razer, another Singapore gaming giant, too acquired Malaysia-based MOL Global to enter the e-payment market.
Despite the odds adding up, South Africa-based Naspers is now rumored to have started preliminary talks of a potential investment into Carousell. This might be the second savviest bet made by the prominent investor, after its visionary investment into a then-loss-making Tencent back in 2001.
If this investment gets through – Carousell might stand to be valued at over USD500 million – further bolstering its position in the Southeast Asia region.
Editor: Ben Jiang