Singtel Group and Thai mobile operator AIS partnered with Kasikornbank to launch what they say is Asia’s first cross-border mobile payment alliance which allows consumers to make payments with their local mobile wallets when travelling abroad.
The Via alliance is the first initiative of its kind to connect operator and non-operator mobile wallets across borders to create a region-wide payment network, Singtel said in a statement. The two operators now offer QR code-based payments in Singapore and Thailand through mobile wallets, Singtel Dash, AIS Global Pay and Rabbit Line Pay.
Somchai Lertsutiwong, AIS CEO, said it is collaborating with Singtel and Kasikornbank to promote as cashless society, noting the “partnership offers Thais a seamless digital payment experience at home and abroad, and adds a new dimension which will take the cashless society to the next level”.
AIS, majority owned by Singapore-based Singtel, is the largest mobile operator in Thailand with a 44 per cent market share.
The group said it will progressively expand the alliance to include its regional associates Bharti Airtel in India, Globe Telecom in the Philippines and Telkomsel in Indonesia.
Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group said: “The Via alliance is aimed at unifying Asia’s fragmented payments scene by connecting different mobile wallet systems across the region…Via will enhance the payment experience for millions of consumers including our group’s customer base of more than 700 million. We see a tremendous opportunity to drive the adoption of mobile payments which supports ASEAN’s push towards financial inclusion and vision of a single digital market.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back