Singtel to launch interconnected mobile payments platform

20 March 2018 | James Pearce


Singtel has unveiled plans to become one of the first telecoms firms to offer interconnected mobile wallets across different ecosystems through an interoperable platform.

The Singtel Group will expand its mobile wallet services by allowing different wallet offerings to provide seamless cross-border payments at physical merchants.

It will begin the initial rollout by linking the mobile wallets of Singtel and its regional associates, with AIS selected as launch partner. It expects to launch the service commercially in Singapore and Thailand by mid-2018.

The project will enable the Singtel group's more than 590 million mobile customers to securely and conveniently pay with their mobile wallets when they travel in Asia, it said. This will then potentially be expanded to other mobile payment apps which could plug into the platform.

Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group said, "The mobile payments scene in Asia today is fragmented with many different systems and this poses a challenge to the adoption of mobile payments. 

“As a Group, we believe we can bring about change through our cross-border interoperable platform and collaboration with like-minded partners. Our vision is to unlock the growth potential of mobile payments in the region by providing customers with a convenient, seamless experience, and helping small merchants widen their reach to millions of consumers."

The launch in Singapore and Thailand will enable over 1.5 million visitors travelling between Singapore and Thailand each year2 to use Singtel Dash and my AIS apps at a total of more than 20,000 retail merchant acceptance points in Singapore and Thailand.

Somchai Lertsutiwong, CEO of AIS, said, “We are excited about launching this cross-border payment capability through AIS. The interconnectivity enhances AIS, offering our customers greater convenience and ease in transacting with their Rabbit Line Pay wallet within my AIS app when they travel to Singapore.”

The platform will be open and this will allow travellers to use their existing mobile payments app to make payments whilst oversee. Users of Singtel’s own offering – Singtel Dash – who travel to Thailand will be able to use the app at any participating AIS mPAY merchant where they can scan a generated QR code. Consumers will see the transaction amount in both foreign and home currencies before payment.

Other associates linked with the programme include the likes of Airtel, Globe and Telkomsel, taking into consideration the respective country’s regulations, Singtel said.

Ririek Adriansyah, CEO of Telkomsel, said, “Cross-border mobile wallet interoperability is crucial to the digital economy and will further support our government in promoting financial inclusion for the Indonesian people. 

“Today’s announcement is a significant step in the right direction. Once we obtain regulatory clearance, we can provide TCASH customers greater convenience whether they are transacting locally or overseas, and give our local merchants new income opportunities from regional travellers.”