Last October, local telco Singtel Group launched VIA, a cross-border payment system in partnership with Thailand’s largest digital bank, Kasikornbank.
The partnership allowed Singtel Dash, AIS GLOBAL Pay, and Rabbit Line Pay customers to make payments via QR codes in Singapore and Thailand.
To put things into perspective, this meant that “over a half a million registered” Singtel Dash customers, and more than 42 million Thai Line users could use their mobile wallets to shop and dine at over 1.6 million stores in Thailand.
In July this year, Singtel added a new partner to its list – this time with Japanese tech firm Netstars.
With the newly minted partnership, Singtel Dash users could make cashless payments through their mobile wallets in Japan.
Netstars’ StarPay is used by over 100,000 merchants across Japan, and each of its terminals can accept QR code payments from mobile wallets, but at launch, VIA was only available in a few locations, comprising 37 stores at Haneda Airport, five stores at Narita Airport, and at Narita Gateway Hotel.
Singtel added that it would be releasing VIA “across the rest of Tokyo, and other popular tourist destinations such as Osaka, Kyoto and Hokkaido”.
Singtel Finds Local Partner In OCBC Bank
Today, Singtel just expanded its VIA mobile payment alliance to include Singapore bank OCBC Bank.
Said Mr Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group: “We’re delighted to partner OCBC and welcome its OCBC Pay Anyone app to VIA. OCBC customers stand to enjoy the ease and familiarity of using their local app for cashless purchases when they travel, in turn boosting the customer base of our VIA merchants.”
Added Mr Ching Wei Hong, OCBC Bank’s Chief Operating Officer: “Customers will have the ability to travel overseas and use OCBC Pay Anyone at over 1.7 million merchants’ acceptance points, reducing their need to carry cash.”
“As Singtel’s VIA network expands and scales, so will the number of places our customers will be able to use the OCBC Pay Anyone app to pay for purchases without incurring hefty FX exchange rates overseas. At the same time, customers will be able to top up their Dash wallets directly via OCBC Pay Anyone.”
By the first quarter of 2020, OCBC Bank customers will be able to go cashless when they travel to Thailand or Japan.
Moving forward, Singtel and OCBC are also looking to explore linking their rewards and merchant programmes.