Razer Fintech, the financial technology arm of online gaming firm Razer, has hired Lim Siong Guan as an advisory board member to help with its global payments push.
The high-profile appointment of the Singaporean, whose résumé includes several key city-state positions, highlights the region's ongoing battle-royale for payments supremacy.
It also underlines the ambitions of Razer Fintech, which was set up in April last year and has already processed over $2 billion in total payments.
Gaming is increasingly catching the attention of digital companies in the region as they look to attract young early adopters of new technology.
In Indonesia, the largest market for gaming in Southeast Asia, the number of mobile gamers reached 60 million in 2018 and is expected to hit 100 million by 2020, according to Indonesian ride-hailing app Gojek, which launched GoGames on September 8.
Crucially, GoGames takes payments via Gojek’s Go-Pay. The company at the time said gamers tend to struggle with limited payment options when it comes to topping-up gaming credits.
However, perhaps a bigger challenge for the gaming payments business model in Indonesia is that gamers there generally don't like to pay at all, said former gaming entrepreneur Vincent Iswara.
“In Indonesia they like to play for free and because there are so many options now in mobile gaming they can just rotate [sites] every day, every week,” he told FinanceAsia.
Only about 3% of a gaming company’s 20 million users would pay for services, estimates Iswara, who is now chief executive of fast-growing payments app Dana.
Lim was most recently group president of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Limited from 2007 to 2016 and then advisor to GIC’s group executive committee up until to March.
He previously served as a board member at the Monetary Authority of Singapore and as chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board.
Lim was first principal private secretary to Singapore’s founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, and has a public service career spanning 37 years. He served as head of the Singapore Civil Service, as well as the permanent secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Defence.
“As we embark on our next phase of growth to expand our fintech business, not just regionally but globally, we are truly honoured to have Mr. Lim Siong Guan join the board of advisors for Razer Fintech,” said Singaporean entrepreneur Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and chief executive officer of Hong Kong-listed Razer.
Razer has been growing swiftly beyond Singapore, across the rest of Southeast Asia, where there are still large unbanked populations.
Razer Fintech generated more than $828 million in total payment value in the first half of 2019 and $1.4 billion for the year ended December 31, 2018, according to its interim financial filing.
Fintech startups with their easy-to-use smartphone applications have been chipping away at bringing people into the financial system.
“I am a firm believer in Razer Fintech’s strategy and vision of addressing the unmet needs of underserved people, particularly the youth and the millennials who are the future consumers of the world, through technology and product innovation,” Lim said in a statement announcing his appointment.