Singel announced on Monday its Asian cross-border payment alliance, VIA, has expanded its footprint to Japan. According to Singel, NETSTARS, a Tokyo-based mobile payment technology company, will join VIA, adding its 100,000 stores to the network’s current 1.6 million merchant partners.
Singel reported that users of the mobile wallets on VIA, which includes Singtel’s Dash, AIS GLOBAL Pay and soon Kasikornbank’s K Plus and Boost Malaysia,will be able to enjoy the familiarity and ease of using their home wallets when making payment at NETSTARS’ merchants, which span airports, shopping malls, food and beverage outlets, tourist attractions and transportation modes across Japan, in the near future. It was revealed:
“Through VIA, they will be able to pay instantly in their local currency, transact conveniently and securely, and enjoy competitive foreign exchange rates in Japan, and across the networks of all wallet members in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. As the VIA alliance continues to grow, wallet members will benefit from the expanding network coverage.”
While sharing more details about the expansion, Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group, stated:
“We are thrilled to partner NETSTARS for VIA’s very first foray into North Asia. Having welcomed Axiata Digital’s Boost Malaysia mobile wallet just weeks ago, VIA’s steady expansion has taken it beyond our associate markets, and now beyond telco e-wallets and Southeast Asia. These partnerships to grow cross-border mobile payments continue to add further momentum to the Singtel Group’s goal of empowering consumers and enabling them to transact seamlessly across borders.”
Tsuyoshi Ri, CEO of NETSTARS, added:
“We are delighted to join the VIA alliance and collaborate with Singtel to welcome more mobile payment users from Southeast Asia. Together we will bring convenience to both customers and stores as NETSTARS expands its store network from thousands to millions, moving towards a cashless society in Japan.”
VIA was launched by the Singtel Group in October 2018 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. Singel is planning to expand the VIA 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.