Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes Singtel’s Dash’s plans to introduce a remittance service to allow users to send money from Singapore to Myanmar. In addition, Pakistan’s Telenor Microfinance Bank unveiled a cross-border remittance service based on Alipay’s blockchain technology, Indonesia’s KinerjaPay notched an investment of $200 million from a construction firm in the region and mobile payments are on the rise in China.
Singtel’s Dash is bringing remittance services to Myanmar by teaming up with the United Nation’s Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the company said in an announcement. With a signed agreement under the Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT), Singtel’s Dash plans to bring secure and fast money transfers from Singapore to Myanmar by this coming March. Singtel International Group CEO Arthur Lang said in the announcement that more than 250 million adults in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region are underbanked, and “with the rapidly growing number of smartphone users, we see tremendous opportunities to provide financial services at affordable rates to people and small businesses in the region.”
In Pakistan, Telenor Microfinance Bank unveiled a cross-border remittance service based on blockchain technology created by Alipay with the help of Malaysia’s Valyou, according to an announcement. Through the service, Pakistanis who reside in Malaysia can send money home “instantly and securely” via real-time money transfers. Ant Financial Chairman and CEO Eric Jing said the remittance system shows how up-and-coming technologies can help meet financial inclusion and digital goals. Jing said in the announcement, “we’re thrilled to be part of Pakistan’s financial inclusion efforts, and we’re dedicated to exploring breakthroughs and applying them to benefit more people in more places.”
And in news from Indonesia, KinerjaPay notched an investment of $200 million from a construction firm in the region, Deal Street Asia reported. With the investment, which is from Investa Wahana Group, the company seeks to invest in possible acquisitions, strategic investments and peer-to-peer lending. In addition, the company reportedly plans to buy back some of its stock “subject to the rules and regulations of the SEC,” according to the report. KinerjaPay, which runs a mobile app and web portal, was reportedly the first eCommerce company in Indonesia to have a listing on the OTC market in the United States.
On another note, mobile payment use in China is projected to be on the uptick and is said to be farther ahead than Singapore and India when it comes to mobile payments, Techwire Asia reported. While 45.2 percent of the population was forecasted to use mobile payments in 2018, that figure is projected to increase by 13.2 percent year on year in 2019. In addition, it was reported that close to two-thirds – or 65 percent – of tourists from China tap into mobile payments when they travel to other countries.