The digital services arm of Malaysia's Axiata Group has signed on to mainboard-listed Singtel's plans for a cross-border electronic payment network, in a tie-up announced yesterday.
Axiata Digital's Boost Malaysia wallet will join the VIA alliance, which telco Singtel launched last October alongside its Thai associate telco AIS and digital bank Kasikornbank to support fuss-free regional e-payments.
The new partnership adds Boost's 3.7 million customers and 66,000 merchant outlets to VIA, which now accepts payments made between the Singtel Dash e-wallet and AIS Global Pay.
This is Dash's first foray into a non-associate market, although Singtel had previously said it planned to roll out VIA across regional associates in Thailand, India, the Philippines and Indonesia. It had also named the e-wallet from China's Ping An Insurance Group as a potential non-telco partner.
Mr Arthur Lang, Singtel's international group chief, said in a statement that the deal with Axiata Digital "gives us presence in an important new market".
"This shows the tremendous potential for us to grow cross-border mobile payments even beyond the countries where Singtel's regional associates operate," he added.
Axiata Digital chief executive Mohd Khairil Abdullah said: "Boost's merchant base is growing at a strong pace and we are looking forward to serving Singtel's e-wallet users when they visit Malaysia. At the same time, we are excited to potentially help drive revenue growth for our merchant partners, which can now benefit from having our neighbours across the Causeway visit their outlets."
This shows the tremendous potential for us to grow cross-border mobile payments even beyond the countries where Singtel's regional associates operate.
'' MR ARTHUR LANG, Singtel's international group chief, on the deal with Axiata Digital.
Boost, which was launched in January 2017, is "on the path to monetisation or validation" as of the end of last year, according to presentation slides from Axiata Group's most recent full-year earnings briefing.
Under the latest memorandum of understanding, Singtel will also work with Axiata Digital's application programming interface platform Apigate to add the capabilities that will bring more product and service providers onto Singtel's Open Platform digital payment gateway. Open Platform lets mobile customers across Singtel's regional group shop online and pay through either direct carrier billing or mobile wallets from the appropriate telcos.
Axiata Group recently sold its 28.7 per cent stake in Singapore-listed M1, in a general offer led by Keppel Corp and Singapore Press Holdings.