Publicly-listed Asia United Bank (AUB) expanded its e-wallet partners to include Thai QR and PayNow Singapore.
This was made possible through its strategic collaboration with Liquid Group of Singapore, as both gear up for the increased use of digital payments by tourists when regional economies recover from the global pandemic.
Liquid Group is a leading digital payment services group based in Singapore with a presence across the Asia-Pacific. It operates XNAP (www.xnap.network), a regional payment acceptance network and the largest cross-border interoperability framework.
Aimed to position AUB as a strong regional player in the QR payments space, the collaboration enables more than 15,000 AUB PayMate merchants to accept cross-border QR payments from inbound tourists using “Thai QR” and “PayNow” Singapore, which are part of Liquid Group’s payment acceptance network.
Since it was launched in 2017, Thai QR has grown its user base to more than 50 million. It is one of the payment accepting methods that allows customers of Thai banks to make payments using the Thai QR code. The PayNow QR code, meanwhile, is being used by 12 participating banks and non-bank financial institutions in Singapore.
With the cross-border collaboration, customers from Thailand and Singapore will now be able to use their mobile banking app or e-wallets to scan the Thai QR and PayNow QR codes presented by AUB PayMate merchants in various segments such as retail, food and beverages, electronics, supermarkets, services, entertainment, and attractions.
“AUB PayMate has grown into more than what we anticipated when we launched it in 2017 to accept QR payments from the Chinese tourists. AUB aims to be an active market mover in both local and regional QR payment acceptance,” said Manuel A. Gomez, AUB president “Our growing partnership with Liquid Group will further boost the revenue stream of our merchant partners.”
Jeremy Tan, CEO of Liquid Group and co-founder of XNAP Network, said: “We are glad to deepen our collaboration with AUB to bring more innovative products through digital platforms to keep pace with the accelerated change in consumer payment behavior around the world. We will continue to work with our partners to increase the accessibility and promote the adoption of real-time and seamless global payment services to end users so as to lower cost for businesses and improve the user experience.”
AUB and Liquid will further expand the partnership so more Filipinos consumers with mobile banking applications that support cross-border QR payments can make payments abroad at participating merchants under Liquid Group and its overseas partners.
By bringing in more QR brands from other countries, merchants that want to extend their market reach by accepting cross-border QR payments will greatly benefit, said Mags Surtida, AUB first vice president and Business Group Head for Credit Cards & Acquiring. “We have seen a significant increase in the shift towards digital payments as a result of the events that transpired globally. Since we have positioned ourselves earlier, this made it easier for new merchant partners to adapt to the New Normal,” she added.
The use of QR codes for payments has been gaining traction, not only as an alternative to the traditional debit and credit card payments, but to displace a significant volume of cash transactions in the country. By simply scanning the merchant-displayed QR Ph code using their mobile devices, consumers benefit from having a faster, easier, secure and more convenient payment option.
AUB has already rolled out QR Ph to its customers and merchants under its HelloMoney and AUB PayMate digital payment acceptance platform, making it one of only three “issuer-acquirer” participants ready to use and accept the national QR code by May. This is ahead of the full rollout of the QR Ph by September 2021, the deadline set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which required all payment service providers to adopt the national QR code standard.
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