Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) launched a new digital payments network—VIA.
SingTel launched VIA in partnership with Thailand’s wireless operator AIS and Kasikornbank. Telecommunications such as Telkomsel (Indonesia) and Globe (Philippines) might join them in future.
“The VIA alliance is aimed at unifying Asia’s fragmented payments scene. It will connect different mobile wallet systems across the region.”— Arthur Lang, CEO, International Group, SingTel
VIA is the first one of its kind to connect both telco and non-telco mobile wallets across-borders. This will create a region-wide payment network.
How will VIA Work
VIA will allow people to make QR Code based payments. The payments will be made through SingTel Dash, AIS Global Pay and Rabbit Line Pay digital wallets. This will be possible across both Singapore and Thailand.
“As more people travel around the region, we want them to be able to enjoy the ease and familiarity of using their mobile wallets abroad.”— Arthur Lang, CEO, International Group, SingTel
Users will be able to make payments at all the merchants displaying the VIA brand. They will also be able to make payments at 1.6 Million Kasikornbank merchants displaying the Thai QR Code.
Also, Chinese e-wallets, WeChat and Alipay, currently cover the cross-border payments. However, they require the users to have a WeChat or an Alibaba account. And a Chinese Yuan bank account. And a Chinese ID card number.
VIA doesn’t have any such restrictions. Dash, having about 500,00 registered users, is available to everyone— to SingTel’s non-subscribers too.
“We want to make sure that Dash… is open to all the users in Singapore”— Yuen Kuan, SingTel
SingTel group has more than 700 Million subscribers in countries such as Singapore and Australia. It claims that it will not stop at ‘just payments’.
They aim to do much more once they link up and connect the network of subscribers.