Singtel and AIS debut VIA, Asia’s first cross-border mobile payment alliance

The Singtel Group today debuted VIA, its cross-border mobile payment alliance, with its regional associate AIS to strengthen digital economies in Southeast Asia.

Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group said, the VIA alliance is the first initiative of its kind to connect both telco and non-telco mobile wallets across borders to create a region-wide payment network that will enable consumers to use their local mobile wallets when travelling.

The VIA alliance is aimed at unifying Asia’s fragmented payments scene by connecting different mobile wallet systems across the region, which will be enhance the payment experience for more than 300 million of customer in four countries including the Group’s customer base of more than 700 million. The Singtel Group will progressively expand this alliance to include other regional associates Airtel in India, Globe in the Philippines, Telkomsel in Indonesia, working within each country’s regulations.

Singtel’s VIA is the open platform, comparable with StarAlliance. VIA is open to other mobile payment apps, who will gain instant access to the merchant and customer bases of alliance members across the region. VIA works with Transfer to as a payment platform partner.

In 2017, there were more than 80 million tourist arrivals across the Singtel Group’s markets in Asia. Of this, over 1.5 million visitors travelled between Singapore and Thailand and the numbers are expected to grow steadily.

Somchai Lertsutiwong, CEO of AIS said the service will enhance payment experience to more than 5 million AIS customers who use my AIS app with Rabbit LINE Pay when traveling to Singapore.

With over half a million registered users, Singtel Dash is the only all-in-one mobile payments solution in Singapore that allows users to commute, shop and send money locally and overseas. It is available to everyone, regardless of telco or banking relationship or device model.

“This market will grow tremendously as AIS has more than 40 million subscribers, and 42 LINE users in Thailand, all will foster the growth of Rabbit LINE Pay in the future,” he said.

Once combined with Kasikornbank and a wide array of shops, more than 1.5 million shops, department stores, restaurants, and street foods, there will be additional 1 million merchants to participate the platform soon.

At present, AIS has B2B Global Pay platform, and the company invested in Rabbit LINE Pay (B2C) and the latest VIA cross-border e-wallet payment.