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Wiseasy Technology earns a win in the Payments category at the SBR National Business Awards 2024

Wiseasy's WiseQ Mobile Payment Solution is shaping the future of the QR payments landscape for businesses, designed to prevent fraud and inefficiency, and ultimately, to serve an even bigger purpose.

Singaporean tech startup Wiseasy Technology has emerged as the winner in the Payments category at the prestigious Singapore Business Review National Business Awards 2024. Its winning solution, WiseQ, an end-to-end QR payment solution, has garnered recognition for its significant role in fraud prevention. WiseQ goes beyond functionality to champion a greater cause - the overarching social purpose of promoting global financial inclusion.

Promoting Global Financial Inclusion

Promoting global financial inclusion is a project that is part of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Centre for Financial and Monetary Systems. Upholding the ethos of the WEF, Wiseasy's products and solutions are crafted to address the project's three pillars of digital inclusion, collaboration, and improved financial inclusion metrics, ensuring a holistic approach to driving financial inclusivity.

Specifically targetting two of these pillars of financial inclusion, the WiseQ Mobile Payment Solution aims to increase merchant acceptance of digital payments, focussing on small and medium-sized retailers. It also aims to develop new ways to measure the access, usage, and impact of financial services. 

Bridging the gap between the unbanked and the digital economy

Whilst Southeast Asia's economy has made strides in the past decade, over 6 in 10 Southeast Asians still remain underbanked or unbanked today according to the WEF. In Indonesia, the WEF also revealed that nearly half of all adults fall into these categories. The lack of access to bank accounts results in heavy reliance on cash as the primary mode of transactions in these countries.

Digital payments offer convenience, security, and transparency advantages. However, implementing complete card acceptance networks in developing nations is hindered by their limited resources. This process involves providing bank cards to all individuals and acquiring expensive card acceptance terminals.

"Wiseasy is geared to service the unbanked population. We’re granting financial access to millions of small merchants who have previously been unable to accept digital payments at lower processing fees," said Yan Li, Wiseasy's Chief Executive Officer. 

PwC revealed that there is more than a 100% mobile penetration rate in most Southeast Asian countries today, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. As both merchants and customers move away from credit card payments to other digital payment methods to reduce processing fees, ASEAN has seen a significant increase in the value of gross digital payments in recent years, up 14% year on year, according to the WEF.

Coupled with the fact that many Southeast Asians remain unbanked today, WiseQ offers an innovative and practical solution for developing countries to establish digital payment networks at low costs.

Reducing fraud in QR payments

In recent years, QR code scams have surged alongside the popularity of QR payments. Some individuals deceive merchants into thinking they have paid by presenting fake screenshots of past payments. Scammers also divert payments meant for merchants by pasting fake payment QR codes over original codes. These incidents pose a significant challenge for merchants, particularly those managing their businesses independently without strong digital skills. As a result, these issues have deterred some merchants in Singapore and Southeast Asia from accepting digital payments as they struggle to monitor and verify transactions effectively, lacking both the expertise and resources to do so. 

The WiseQ suite of mobile payment solutions solves exactly these issues faced by merchants. Through instant payment voice alerts and enhanced security features such as secure tokens, WiseQ enables merchants to verify transactions seamlessly and mitigate fraud risks effectively.

"Through Wiseasy's innovative solutions, we are not just playing the game; we are redefining its rules, setting new standards, and empowering the payment ecosystem to embrace the future of data-driven excellence," said Mayank Raheja, Managing Director, Wiseasy EMEA & South Asia.

Regional governments' focus on digitisation

In the recent Singapore-Indonesia Leaders' Retreat on 29 April 2024, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo discussed the steps they have taken to deepen their digital economy cooperation. They announced the pilot launch of the Tech:X Programme to strengthen linkages between the two countries' tech ecosystems. Earlier this year, they also signed an MOU on Cooperation on Digital Transformation. 

As governments across the region prioritise digitisation efforts, innovative solutions such as WiseQ by Wiseasy serve as pivotal tools to drive change. "Countries across Southeast Asia are recognising the importance of QR code standardisation in improving interconnectivity and digital inclusion. Wiseasy’s WiseQ, which is an open platform, has the capability to support these objectives and has already been deployed in six countries across the region, partnering with banks and mobile wallet operators," added Lay Cheng Tan, co-founder of Wiseasy.

With its comprehensive suite of mobile payment solutions, WiseQ adeptly tackles the intricate challenges merchants and developing countries face, positioning itself at the forefront of innovation. As the choice of more than 20 banks and mobile payment companies in Southeast Asia, Wiseasy is committed to empowering businesses and individuals, and this vision seamlessly resonates with the region's goal for a more inclusive and secure digital future.

The SBR National Business Awards is presented by Singapore Business Review Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2025 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's exceptional contributions to the local business landscape in Singapore, please contact Jane Patiag at [email protected].

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