SingTel Via, the Next Generation Cross-Boundary Payment Scheme
We are in the age of computing where ISPs are trying to expand their market in order to enter an industry where they can make more money while expanding the options they offer to their current customers. This is what Singtel is doing with the impending release of their QR-code payment scheme, with cross-compatibility with Thailand.
The new QR-code payment scheme of Singtel will be the product of AIS Global Pay and Rabbit Line Pay partnerships. The Telco company seeks to expand it further to India (Airtel), Philippines (Globe) and Indonesia (Telkomsel) if the initial rollout becomes successful. “The Via alliance is aimed at unifying Asia’s fragmented payments scene by connecting different mobile wallet systems across the region. 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,” explained Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel International Group.
Via, the working name of the project will try to start small within the boundary of Singapore and Thailand, with the possibility of expanding to the rest of East and Southeast Asia. The goal is to have zero transaction fees across borders.
“This is a game changer for the Singtel Group and the region. The VIA alliance is aimed at unifying Asia’s fragmented payments scene by connecting different mobile wallet systems across the region. As more people travel around the region, we want them to be able to enjoy the ease and familiarity of using their local mobile wallets abroad,” added Lang.
Via will be launched through a mobile app named Dash, which is now recognized by some of Thailand and Singapore banks. Just like other payment schemes, Dash enables its users to pay for the taxi, buses and train rides, online retail purchases and money transfers. In Thailand alone, it is seen that Via will service at least five million users.
In Singapore, payment through Via will be available for 4.1 million users and the expansion will continue to the rest of Asia for months to come. A similar but competing service named SWIFT is also making its presence felt in various territories in the Australasian region. It is a cross-payment project for commercial transactions that will be operating in Australia, Singapore, Thailand, and China. The partnership already supports many banks like Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ bank, the National Australia Bank (NAB), Kasikornbank, Bangkok Bank, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, DBS, ICBC, Siam Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and United Overseas Bank.