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RealTime IT News

Netlife Expands Singapore Operation

German Internet payment technology provider Netlife AG plans to invest approximately US$6 million in Singapore to develop products that suit the Asian market, and in joint ventures and acquisitions in Asia.

The company has established its first Asian partnership with a local systems integrator, National Computer Systems Pte Ltd. (NCS), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Singapore Telecom Group.

Claus Muller, CEO of Netlife, said he sees Netlife's partnership with NCS as a move to meet Asia's demand for secure e-commerce payment solutions which comply to the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) standard.

He also said he is looking at forming joint ventures with local companies as well as acquisitions in this region. He declined to mention specific companies.

"Internet business is a service business. It doesn't matter if you are a small or huge company. Sometimes it is better if you are a small company. It is much easier to install and push new standards. For example it is easier for Singapore to push e-commerce standards," said Muller.

Based on his discussions with systems integrators and customers in Hong Kong, he said, "Singapore is one year ahead [in] technology and the penetration of e-commerce."

"Everyone is talking about Internet banking solutions in second generation thinking now in Singapore. But in Hong Kong, it is not the situation."

For example, the stock exchange in Hong Kong will only go online Q1 next year, he said.

However, he said Hong Kong has the potential to be strong in Internet and technology.

Netlife is also preparing to file for IPO next month.

The success of the IPO will determine the investment figures planned for Singapore for one and a half years.