SINGAPORE: Singtel's Dash subscribers could start using the digital wallet to pay for purchases in Malaysia as early as June this year, after the Singapore telco announced its tie-up with Axiata Digital on Wednesday (Feb 27).
The two telecom providers signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the areas of mobile financial and digital services at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, according to a joint press release.
With this, Axiata's digital wallet Boost Malaysia will join Singtel's cross-border mobile payment alliance called Via. The latest partner will add more than 66,000 merchant points to the network, expanding the reach for Dash and Thailand's AIS Global Pay users, it added.
A Singtel spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia that both telcos are working towards a launch date "as early as the first half of 2019", pending regulatory approval from Malaysia's Bank Negara.
There are currently more than half a million Dash users in Singapore and the service is not limited to the telco given that it is operator-agnostic, the spokesperson added.
They will also explore collaboration around rewards and loyalty programmes, according to the press release.
"Via's continued expansion will provide consumers with the ease and convenience of using one mobile wallet to pay across multiple regional markets as they travel," said CEO of Singtel's International Group Arthur Lang.
Singtel had last October launched Via with its regional associate AIS and Thailand's Kasikornbank.
It added it will progressively extend this alliance to include other regional affiliates like India's Airtel, Philippines' Globe and Indonesia's Telkomsel, as well as non-telcos like China's Ping An eWallet which is owned by Ping An Insurance Group.
More recently, Dash partnered the United Nation's Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to introduce remittance services to Myanmar.
Citing a World Bank report, a Singtel news release in January stated that foreign remittances to Myanmar nationals working abroad totalled about US$6.2 billion in 2017.
"However, many tend to rely on informal channels such as unlicensed agents, which could be time-consuming, expensive and unsafe," it added.
"The partnership between UNCDF and Singtel will provide Myanmar workers here with an easy and secure way to send money home," said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Low Yen Ling, who attended the signing ceremony.
"We support such collective efforts that boost the goals of financial inclusion leading to better lives," she added.