OCBC became the first Singapore bank to join Singtel’s VIA mobile payment alliance, boosting the mobile operator’s regional payment network. Thailand’s Kasikornbank has also joined the alliance earlier.
By the first quarter of 2020, OCBC Bank customers will be able to go cashless when they travel to Thailand or Japan. They will be able to make QR code payments at more than 1.7 million merchant partners on VIA’s network using the OCBC Pay Anyone app, in Singapore dollars and at competitive and transparent exchange rates.
This long-term partnership with Singtel is another key milestone in our journey to drive digital payment adoption among our customers and address their digital payment needs. Customers will have the ability to travel overseas and use OCBC Pay Anyone at over 1.7 million merchants’ acceptance points, reducing their need to carry cash, said Ching Wei Hong, OCBC Bank’s Chief Operating Officer in a media statement on Monday.
The partnership would help the bank’s customers eliminate the hassle of changing and carrying foreign currencies, said Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group.
OCBC customers stand to enjoy the ease and familiarity of using their local app for cashless purchases when they travel, in turn boosting the customer base of our VIA merchants. Our partnership with OCBC comes from a shared vision to offer a seamless payment experience that caters to the needs of consumers and drive the growth momentum for cross-border mobile payments in Asia, said Lang.
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Currently, the OCBC Pay Anyone app enables OCBC Bank customers to make QR code payments to merchants, and peer-to-peer e-payments leveraging QR codes, any recipient’s Singapore mobile number or PayNow, directly from the customer’s bank account.
From November 2019, OCBC Bank customers in Singapore who are Singtel Dash users will also be able to top up their Dash accounts quickly and seamlessly with OCBC Pay Anyone integrated on the Dash app. We look forward to deepening our collaboration with OCBC as we build the financial services ecosystem together, added Lang.
Moving forward, Singtel and OCBC will also explore linking their rewards and merchant programs. The VIA alliance, which was launched in October 2018, aims to unify the region’s fragmented payment scene by creating an interoperable network in the Asia Pacific, both companies said.
Currently counting AIS GLOBAL Pay and NETSTARS among its alliance members, VIA is expanding to include Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank’s K PLUS, Axiata Digital’s Boost Malaysia and Indonesia’s LinkAja. This will see the alliance grow to reach some 50 million consumers and 2.1 million merchants across Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan.