Special thanks to Jaeger X in the chat group for sharing!
Razer Pay was birthed with glorious purpose: Singapore’s very own billionaire-entrepreneur Tan Min-Liang publicly promised our Prime Minister on Twitter that he’d roll out an e-payment scheme that’d solve the problem of having too many different schemes and systems that inconveniences customers and adds cost for businesses.
It was probably too lofty a goal to be accomplished. At its best, Razer Pay – along with its much hyped Razer Card that launched earlier this year – became yet another payment app that did little to unify e-payments for Singaporeans, even if some of us enjoyed the perks for a while.
End of the road for Razer Pay and Card
Less than a year after Razer Card’s launch, Razer has thrown in the towel on both Razer Pay and Razer Card.
According to the company’s support site, the last day to top up your Razer Wallet is 6th August 2021, and the last day of use is 30th September. The Razer Card will stop working after 31st August.
You can withdraw your balance from within the app before 30th September, after which there is a form to be manually filled up. Razer cites a minimum of 30 business days (!!) to process such manual refunds, so pick whichever option appeals more to you.
If you have earned any Gift Rewards from the Beta Programme, the codes will expire after 31st August.
For whatever reason you wish to sign up for a Razer Pay account, 6th August is also the final day to do so. You can bet the last dollar in your Razer wallet that I’ll leave my referral code here without any idea if it’ll still give us each a dollar: SETH88
What went wrong
Almost a year ago when I wrote about Razer Card’s beta programme, I noted that it was strange that Razer would enter e-payments with Razer Pay and waddle even further into the deeper end of the pool with a Visa card of its own. The e-payments industry is crowded with huge companies with deep pockets, and probably not much to earn particularly if you have to keep throwing promos at users to bribe them into using your app. While Razer Pay and Razer Card had good promos earlier this year, they soon dried up, and I imagine usage plummeted along with it.
Even when Razer had great promos, users often wondered where to find merchants that accepted the Razer Pay. Grab, on the other hand, is ubiquitous. You’d find Grab Pay QR codes at places that don’t typically accept credit cards, and even the most financially unaware consumer understands somewhat the value preposition of getting points that can discount their next cab ride or food delivery. It’s a winner-takes-all environment and Grab dominates the market.
Compounding Razer’s troubles in this highly difficult space would be all the bugs and app inadequacies that plagued the beta programme. Transactions would fail but money would be deducted, and I could never top up my account with a credit card among other issues that frustrated users. Someone allegedly even had their entire balance wiped out, and you can’t always use the beta label to shield yourself from consumer distrust.
What it means for us
Someone cheered “good riddance” when this news was shared in the Telegram chat group, and it’s reflective of how e-payments is a tough space. Consumers do not take kindly to poor experiences, and Razer provided enough of that to be disdained.
Unfortunately, I wonder if it’s the start of a trend where fewer wallet apps emerge and a several existing ones join Razer in calling it quits. Already, the joint-venture between Singtel and Grab foretells that Singtel Dash is not long for this world, and other apps like LiquidPay have actually quietly faded into obscurity.
Rewards-chasing people have enjoyed the promos pushed out by these companies vying for a piece of the market, and such times would eventually end. Sure, maybe we’d finally get one, standardised solution to pay. No confusion… and no rewards.
Personally, I’m not feeling too sad about this, as it is the natural order of things. As long as my Razer Card continues to light up, it’d be a great party trick… when parties become a thing again. ShopeePay seems to be ramping up its fight against Grab, and new and amazing wallet apps like Amaze Card are still being launched, so we can probably rest easy for now.
On the other hand, do spare a thought for the Razer CEO. I wonder how he would ever recover from this that poor guy.
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