Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes Binance’s investment in Australian startup TravelbyBit to bring crypto payments to airports. In addition, Russia’s Sberbank rolled out cash postcards to its mobile users, and Singtel has unveiled a cross-border mobile payment alliance called Via in Asia.
Binance is backing Australia-based TravelbyBit with a more than $2.5 million investment to bring digital currency payments to major airports around the world, the company said in an announcement. When travelers visit selected airports, they will be able to use a cryptocurrency mobile wallet to make point of sale (POS) payments to merchants. The system supports payments through Ethereum, bitcoin and Litecoin. But in the future, consumers will be able to use Binance coin (BNB). In a statement, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said, “Long term, TravelbyBit shares our vision and values, and we are excited to work together with them to bring a blockchain-enabled economy.”
In Russia, Sberbank has brought cash postcards to users of iPhone and Android devices within its Dialogues function, according to reports. The postcards are described as animated images that come with sound and can be connected to a money transfer. Senders can use a variety of options, from fairytale characters to well-known 90s artists. In a statement, Sberbank Head of Digital Platform Division Svyatoslav Ostrovsky said "it is quickly gaining popularity." The news comes after the bank launched its Dialogues function at the start of the year.
And in Asia, Singtel unveiled a cross-border mobile payment alliance dubbed Via, ZDNet reported. The group was formed in conjunction with Kasikornbank, a Thai bank, and AIS. It brings together the Singtel Dash service along with Rabbit Line Pay and AIS Global Pay to bring QR (quick response) code mobile payments throughout Thailand and Singapore. In an announcement, Singtel International Group CEO Arthur Lang said, "the Via alliance is aimed at unifying Asia's fragmented payments scene by connecting different mobile wallet systems across the region.”