Update: When asked about PayPal pursuing other collaborations wtih government agencies, Anuj Nayar, the director of globalcommunications at PayPal, tells us:
Our mobile strategy in Asia Pacific covers 5 areas:
1. Provide consumers with a simple, fast, secure checkout experience on the mobile phone.
2. Provide merchants with an easy integration of their online shopping site with the mobile phone.
3. Partner with leading mobile ecosystem players to provide mass distribution for payment functionality in mobile services and apps.
4. Enable the developer community to monetize their mobile services and apps through our Mobile Payment Libraries.
5. Focus on key cross-boder/domestic m-commerce markets in Asia Pac including Japan, China, Australia, while experimenting in other markets where m-commerce is just taking off.
As opportunities like the one with the IDA elsewhere in the world present themselves, we'd be happy to pursue them but we have nothing to announce right now.
Original Article: PayPal announced today that it is collaborating with Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority, a national government agency, to have PayPal's mobile payment platform power the m-commerce infrastructure of Singapore's Digital Concierge program. This is of particular significance because it marks the first collaboration between Paypal and a government agency on mobile payments.
"In a nation with 138% mobile penetration and where 8 out of every 10 phones being bought are smartphones, Singapore possesses great potential for widespread adoption of mobile commerce as an increasing number of retailers want to use the mobile channel to extend their reach and consumers want easy-to-use, secure payment methods on their mobile phones," says VP of PayPal Asia Pacific, Farhad Irani.
2010 has been a very big year for PayPal's surge into mobile. At SXSW back in March, WebProNews spoke with Francesco Rovetta, director of business development for PayPal Mobile about this:
"M-commerce is really taking off in this mobile-mad region as consumers increasingly shop on their mobile phones," says Irani. "We're seeing many innovative ways, like our collaboration with Maxis in Malaysia, for businesses to address this regional market worth US$1.6 billion this year and expected to grow to US$12 billion in 2013 (according to ABI Research)."
It will be interesting to see how many more government agencies go PayPal, and in different regions.