Soft Space enters into strategic partnership, investment with JCB 

  • Collaboration will expand JCB’s presence in Southeast Asia 
  • Involves US$5 mil investment in SoftSpace, other collaborations 

Virtual signing ceremony between Yoshiki Kaneko, senior executive officer of JCB Co., Ltd./ president & chief operating officer of JCB International Co., Ltd., and Joel Tay, chief executive officer of Soft SpaceSoft Space Sdn Bhd has announced a new strategic partnership with JCB Co. Ltd. (JCB) involving a combination of US$5 million (RM20.8 million) investment in Soft Space and a series of business collaborations.

In a statement, the Japanese payment company said the strategic partnership is the first of its kind in Malaysia for the company and is aimed at capitalising on Soft Space's fintech-as-a-service business model, technology and regulatory knowhow, and JCB’s global recognition, vast alliances and brand reach.

This is part of the first tranche of funding on the horizon for Soft Space with other investments to follow in the future, it said.

The partnership also demonstrates the confidence JCB has in Soft Space’s management, technology portfolio and execution strategy in today’s highly competitive fintech industry, it added.

Yoshiki Kaneko, president & chief operating officer of JCB International Co. Ltd said this is a first step for the company towards realising possibilities with Soft Space. 

“We are capitalising on this opportunity to expand and secure our business in SEA by utilising Soft Space’s cutting-edge technology and robust network with the financial institutions. 

“We are confident that this collaboration will go beyond Malaysia and expand across the globe,” he said. 

Joel Tay, chief executive officer of Soft Space said, “Being JCB’s first investee in Malaysia assures that the company is on track to developing financial solutions that will fortify payment acceptance between Japan and SEA, and benefit both regions when borders open up again. 

“This bridge between our regions will also serve as a roadmap for us to enter other regions globally in the future,” he added.

JCB owns and operates one of the largest payment schemes in Japan supporting about 37 million merchants and 140 million cardmembers around the world, by capitalising on Asia’s economic growth, it said.

Backed by these assets, JCB has a vision to become “Asia’s leading payment brand” and will expand the brand globally by leveraging its strength in Asia – especially in Southeast Asia (“SEA”) – to become a competitive brand preferred by Japanese and international cardmembers, it added.

To this end, JCB has targeted SEA as a strategic business enhancement region and has established its ASEAN Business Enhancement and Creation Department in Singapore last June to seek business opportunities within the region.

This will serve as a template for further strategic alliances and investments within the region, the company said.

The strategic partnership with Soft Space also aims to harness synergies between the two parties and includes the expansion of JCB’s merchant network, the establishment of card issuing solutions, and the provision of customer marketing solutions, it said.

Other collaborative areas include, but not limited to, enhanced merchant acceptance, mobility-as-a-service and transit; payment gateways; cards-as-a-service; white label services, API platform services and technical support services, it added.

Both Soft Space and JCB are committed to accelerating cashless payment both in Malaysia and SEA by utilising competitive and advanced fintech technologies, thereby establishing a link between Japanese consumers to SEA, the companies said.

Today, Soft Space has an expansive range of product offerings that span white-label e-wallet solutions to its flagship Tap to Phone technology, which is the world’s first SoftPOS solution to support secure PIN entry, it claimed.

The statement said the solution has received endorsements from major card schemes such as Visa, UnionPay International, Mastercard and Malaysia’s MyDebit, and has been deployed in some of the largest financial service institutions and corporate enterprises in the Middle East, North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

 

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