Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes the $2 million pre-series A raise for Singapore’s KOKU. In addition, Citi is rolling out biometric identification for institutional clients in Asia, and Chinese tourists can make payments through Alipay when they visit the Capital One Arena.
In Singapore, FinTech firm KOKU has notched $2 million in a pre-Series A funding led by Tencent Holding’s co-founder, e27 reported. The funding is geared toward expansion and development in areas such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Myanmar. As it stands, the company works with non-bank financial institutions (FIs) in Singapore, the Philippines and Hong Kong. The company also reportedly plans to grow its transaction value from $10 million per day to $30 million per day. KOKU Founder and CEO Calvin Goh said, according to the report, “We are aware that the non-bank remittance and liquidity provider service is a complex business model that requires hard work. But it will be rewarding if we can provide the same facility to these underserved groups and help them in their operation.”
And, in other payments news from Asia, Citi institutional clients in India, Singapore, Thailand, China and Vietnam will be able to access their CitiDirect BE® Mobile App through facial or fingerprint recognition, according to reports. Clients can views balances as well as cash positions, authorize payments and manage users via the app. In the past, clients had to use physical tokens or an app-based digital token to create passcodes prior to using their accounts. Asia Pacific Head of Channel and Enterprise Services, Treasury and Trade Solutions Keng-Mun Lee said, according to reports, “We continue to digitize our core offerings, incorporating a design thinking and client-centric approach to offer solutions that provide real value to institutional clients. It is imperative that institutions adopt new mobile technologies to remain efficient and competitive.”
On another note, Chinese tourists can use Alipay when they visit the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C beginning this week, Alizila reported. They will be able to tap into the digital payment method at ticketing windows and concession stands as well as souvenir shops. Alipay North America General Manager Yulei Wang said, according to the outlet, “The payment solution will allow Chinese visitors to move seamlessly across the arena, so that they never miss an exciting moment inside the stadium.” Beyond the stadium, the payment method is available in places around the world from Japan to Germany.