Tokyo, Japan was the sixth most visited city by Singaporeans in 2018.
Good news for those planning to travel to the popular destination: Singtel Dash users can now make cashless payments through their mobile wallet in Japan.
Singtel announced its partnership with Japanese tech firm Netstars, which operates the StarPay payment network, on 25 July.
StarPay is used by over 100,000 merchants across Japan, and each of its terminals can already accept QR code payments from mobile wallets like Line Pay, Rakuten Pay, Alipay and WeChat Pay.
This makes Japan the second market to join Singtel’s cross-border mobile payment alliance VIA.
Last October, Singtel debuted VIA with its first launch in Thailand.
Tying up with Thai mobile operator AIS and Thailand’s largest digital bank Kasikornbank, it has allowed Singtel Dash users to pay without cash at over 1.6 million stores in Thailand.
As the alliance expands, both Singtel Dash and AIS GLOBAL Pay users from Singapore and Thailand can now use QR codes to pay with their own currency in Japan.
However, it’s only available in a few locations at the moment, comprising 37 stores at Haneda Airport, five stores at Narita Airport, and at Narita Gateway Hotel.
Singtel says it will later release VIA across the rest of Tokyo, and “other popular tourist destinations such as Osaka, Kyoto and Hokkaido”.
Acceptance points will include convenience stores, restaurants and department stores.
Japan’s adoption of VIA comes ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, preparing to give tourists the familiarity and convenience of paying with their local mobile wallets.
Beyond Thailand and Japan, Singtel International Group CEO Arthur Lang said they “will be announcing more wallets joining the VIA alliance in the coming months”.
This includes Thailand’s Kasikornbank’s K Plus, Axiata Digital’s Boost Malaysia and Indonesia’s LinkAja.
The upcoming expansion plans are set to help VIA reach some 40 million mobile wallet users and 2.1 million merchants in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan.
Featured Image Credit: Singtel