soCash in tie-up to offer cardless currency exchange service to tourists from Japan

SINGAPORE - Fintech start-up soCash said on Wednesday (Oct 16) that it is entering the foreign exchange (FX) market through a global partnership with Japanese card issuer JCB Co.

Through a joint initiative, soCash and JCB will offer a cardless cash withdrawal service at "highly competitive" FX rates, in a bid to eliminate the risks when using ATMs overseas - including exorbitant withdrawal fees.

The new service will allow Japanese tourists more convenience and safety when visiting popular locations in South-east Asian countries with low card penetration and high card fraud risks.

The collaboration also seeks to offer better exchange rates compared with moneychangers, with the service planned for launch in around March 2020.

Hari Sivan, co-founder and chief executive of soCash said: "This partnership is set to add convenience for the travellers and diversify our offerings as we move beyond the conventional foreign exchange services for adventurous people travelling far and wide."

The Singapore-headquartered start-up in July raised US$6 million in Series B funding to expand its distribution network in Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong. It has obtained the relevant regulatory clearances in the three markets.

The funding round was led by Japan's Glory Ltd, and participated by global venture capital fund network Vertex Ventures as well as Standard Chartered Bank's innovation, investment and ventures arm, SC Ventures.

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