At the 32nd ASEAN Summit, Singtel have given a demonstration of its initiative to connect mobile wallets across borders.
The 10 ASEAN heads of state had a chance to experience how this payment service would work, ahead of the first-phase commercial launch between Singtel and regional associate AIS in Thailand in mid-2018.
Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group said, “With the fragmented payments scene in Asia today, interoperability has never been more crucial. We are pleased to support ASEAN’s vision of a more connected community and a single digital market with our cross-border interoperable mobile payment initiative.”
In a first for the region, the Singtel Group recently announced it would connect different telco wallets across markets to offer seamless cross-border payments at physical merchants. This will empower the Group’s more than 600 million mobile customers to securely and conveniently pay with their mobile wallets when they travel in Asia Pacific, helping small merchants expand their reach to millions more in the process.
“This service is unique as it empowers travellers of each country to spend abroad with their telco wallets. We want to make this as seamless as using cash and give full transparency on the exchange rates they are getting,” added Lang.
The Group plans to progressively expand this service to other regional associates including Airtel in India, Globe in the Philippines, Telkomsel in Indonesia, and wholly-owned subsidiary Optus in Australia, working within the regulatory frameworks of the respective countries. Other mobile payment apps and Singtel’s Bridge Alliance partners can potentially plug into the platform and gain ready access to the Group’s merchant and customer bases throughout the region.
Lang said, “As a founding member of the Bridge Alliance, we welcome all alliance members across the world to come on board our platform as partners. Our goal is to work with as many partners – both telco and non-telco – to create a smooth payment experience for our customers when they travel abroad.”