In a positive move, Singapore’s largest telecom provider Singtel has expanded its cross-border payments alliance Via to Japan, according to a report by ZDNet. Singtel launched Via in the month of October last year in partnership with AIS and Thai digital bank Kasikornbank.
The report further adds that the alliance combines Singtel Dash with AIS Global Pay and Rabbit Line Pay which allows for QR code mobile payments across Singapore and Thailand. The alliance is also planning to expand its base to regional partners such as Airtel in India, Globe in the Philippines, and Telkomsel in Indonesia.
Via is the first cross-border mobile payment alliance in Asia and it is in partnership with AIS, Thai digital bank Kasikornbank, and Boost Malaysia. It has now joined hands with Tokyo-based mobile payment technology company Netstars which will help it to get a foothold in Japan.
The alliance allows customers the freedom to pay in their local currency, transact conveniently and securely and enjoy competitive exchange rates in Japan.
Speaking about the expansion plans, Singtel International Group CEO Arthur Lang said, “Having welcomed Axiata Digital’s Boost Malaysia mobile wallet just weeks ago, Via’s steady expansion has taken it beyond our associate markets, and now beyond telco e-wallets and Southeast Asia.
Singtel is also planning to expand its business to include non-telco partners such as China’s Ping An eWallet. Via Alliance is planning to integrate the fragmented cross-border payment scene in Asia.
“The Via alliance is aimed at unifying Asia’s fragmented payments scene by connecting different mobile wallet systems across the region,” Lang said at the launch of Via last year.
Working along similar lines in Asia is Swift which announced in August last year that it would be working with banks from Australia, Singapore, Thailand, and China to test cross-border payment system.