Battling against the fast rise of Facebook usage in Southeast  Asia, Friendster created a partnership to launch a mobile wallet system in Malaysia that will soon roll out in other Southeast Asian markets.

One of the earliest social networking site, Friendster lost market share around the world, but maintained a strong position in Southeast Asia. That position is now challenged by Facebook.

The statistcs here are provided by Friendster and date to Q2 2009. Facebook’s number conflict with Friendster’s claim of being number 1 in all these markets, as shown in this cool map of social networks in Asia.

Anyone have better statistics? UPDATE: Just found Jim Ayson’s comparison of Facebook vs Friendster in the Philippines.

Friendster’s move towards micropayments is interesting since because – as reported earlier on this blog – many Asian social networks make more money from transactions that they do from advertisements.

How will the micropayments work (from Marketing)?

Consumers will be able to buy prepaid payment cards for the wallet throughout SE Asia at convenience stores such as 7-Eleven in Malaysia and Philippines, mobile phone shops such as Oke Shop in Indonesia, and at kiosks such as AXS in Singapore as well as cybercafe networks in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The wallet will also support mobile payments from Singtel GX Credits and Indosat iPay and will accept online banking payments from Maybank, CIMB Bank, RHB Bank, Citibank Singapore, UOB and DBS.

It also accepts American Express, Visa and Mastercard.

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