Monday, 30 April 2018 00:31

Singtel readies for launch of cross-border mobile payments service

By
 Jeann Low, Group Chief Corporate Officer, Singtel; Kan Trakulhoon, Chairman of AIS; and Chua Sock Koong, Group CEO, Singtel with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and ASEAN leaders at the Singtel showcase at the 32nd ASEAN Summit Jeann Low, Group Chief Corporate Officer, Singtel; Kan Trakulhoon, Chairman of AIS; and Chua Sock Koong, Group CEO, Singtel with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and ASEAN leaders at the Singtel showcase at the 32nd ASEAN Summit

Singtel has demonstrated its cross-border mobile payments service initiative to connect mobile wallets across borders for leaders at the 32nd ASEAN Summit in Singapore, ahead of the first commercial launch of the service in Thailand with regional associate AIS.

Singtel’s wholly owned Australian telco Optus will be one of the regional associate telcos which the Singtel Group plans to progressively expand the service to, including Airtel in India, Globe in the Philippines and Telkomsel in Indonesia. Singtel says it will work within the regulatory frameworks of the respective countries.

In what it describes as a first for the region, Singtel Group recently announced it would connect different telco wallets across markets to offer seamless cross-border payments at physical merchants.

Singtel says 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.

“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,” says Arthur Lang, chief executive of Singtel’s International Group.

“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,” Lang said.

Singtel says other mobile payment apps and its Bridge Alliance partners can potentially plug into the platform and gain ready access to the Group’s merchant and customer bases throughout the region.    

“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.” 

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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