Axiata Digital forms mobile banking partnership with Singtel

  • Paves way for Boost to add over 66,000 merchant points to the alliance's network
  • To jointly promote cross-border payments to grow user bases, merchant networks


(From 2nd left) Apigate CEO Zoran Vasiljev, Singtel International Group CEO Arthur Lang and Axiata Digital CEO Mohd Khairil Abdullah

IN A move that will benefit millions of Malaysian mobile phone users, Axiata Digital and the Singtel International Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding at MWC Barcelona to collaborate in the development of mobile financial and digital services that will boost Asean's digital economy.

"Our partnership with Axiata Digital adds further momentum to the Singtel International Group's goal to empower consumers to transact seamlessly across borders and deliver more exciting entertainment choices and experiences through the ecosystem of digital services that we are creating," said Singtel International Group chief executive officer Arthur Lang.

The agreement paves way for Malaysia's leading mobile wallet, Boost Malaysia, to add over 66,000 merchant points to the alliance's network, expanding the reach of the payment service for millions of Singtel Dash and AIS GLOBAL Pay users already on VIA, the Singtel International Group's cross-border mobile payment alliance.

Boost Malaysia's 3.7 million customers will also be able to use their mobile wallet at VIA's more than 1.6 million merchant partners in Singapore and Thailand.

Both Axiata Digital and Singtel plan to jointly promote and drive cross-border payments to grow their respective user bases and merchant networks and explore collaboration around rewards and loyalty programmes.

"Mobile wallet interoperability has been high on our priority list and we're excited to kick off this partnership with one of the region's biggest technology companies. Boost's merchant base is growing at a strong pace and we're looking forward to serving Singtel's e-wallet users when they visit Malaysia.

“At the same time, we are also excited to potentially help drive revenue growth for our merchant partners who can now benefit from having our neighbours across the causeway visit their outlets. Vice versa, Boost users will also enjoy the same convenience when visiting Singapore, Thailand and, in future, other countries across the region," said Axiata Digital chief executive officer Mohd Khairil Abdullah.

Echoing Mohd Khairil’s sentiment, Lang said the agreement will also help them increase their reach.

"We are delighted to welcome Boost Malaysia on board the VIA alliance, which gives us presence in an important new market. This shows the tremendous potential for us to grow cross-border mobile payments even beyond the countries where Singtel's regional associates operate.

“VIA's continued expansion will provide consumers with the ease and convenience of using one mobile wallet to pay across multiple regional markets as they travel. We look forward to more partners joining VIA," said Lang.

The MOU will also see Singtel International Group's Open Platform, a payment gateway that enables online retailers and service providers to easily connect to the payment platforms of all members of the Singtel International Group, partner with Apigate, Axiata Digital's new-breed Application Programming Interface (API) platform.

This will enable cross-sharing of product portfolios -- allowing customers to securely and conveniently pay with their direct carrier billing and mobile wallets for world class digital content from over 300 gaming and entertainment service providers.

"This agreement opens the door for Singtel International Group to collaborate with Apigate's next generation API ecosystem to create innovative propositions for customers," said Apigate chief executive officer Zoran Vasiljev.

The Singtel International Group's partnership with Apigate will build an ecosystem of digital services with a focus on areas such as mobile financial services and content including videos and gaming to engage a combined mobile customer base of more than one billion across Asia.

VIA was launched by the Singtel Group in October 2018, with partners AIS, Singtel's regional associate, and Kasikornbank, Thailand's digital bank, to create a region-wide payment network that will enable consumers to securely and conveniently pay with their mobile wallets when they travel in Asia Pacific.

The Group plans to 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, as well as non-telcos.


(From 4th left) Axiata Digital CEO Mohd Khairil Abdullah , Apigate CEO Zoran Vasiljev and Robi Axiata Limited CEO and MD Uddin Ahmed

Apigate also announced an exclusive partnership with Robi Axiata Limited, Bangladesh's leading digital service provider.

The bilateral agreement allows Apigate's ecosystem of international content and gaming providers to seamlessly reach audiences in Bangladesh while enabling local content partners to expand their presence globally to 3.5 billion users and over 110 Mobile Network Operators with one single connection using Apigate's open-source platform.

"This exciting partnership with Apigate enables us to expand our content rich offerings and ensures Robi customers a secure and frictionless payment experience via Robi Digital Services," said Robi Axiata Limited chief executive officer and managing director Mahtab Uddin Ahmed.

Vasiljev, adds, "Local payment options are crucial for businesses looking to grow revenue internationally in emerging markets. Robi is one of the most innovative operators in South Asia and we are thrilled to launch services exclusively with them while growing the portfolio to include A2P messaging."


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