Singapore-based payments platform Nium signed an agreement to acquire alternative payments network platform Socash.

The acquisition, whose financial terms were not disclosed, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Singapore-based Socash enables the customers of financial institutions and digital commerce merchants to deposit, withdraw, and make payments with cash from over 30,000 local shops, cafes, and grocery stores.

The deal will help Nium bolster its technology and capabilities to facilitate a number of local payment acceptance methods for digital commerce, particularly in emerging markets.

It will also enable Nium to accept cash for transactions online.

Furthermore, the combined entity is expected to have enhanced capabilities for local acceptance, multicurrency accounts, foreign exchange, and global payouts.

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Nium co-founder and COO Pratik Gandhi said: “The Socash team has built an impressive platform that bridges payments in the digital space with payouts in the physical world.

“When compared to current in-app payment costs, we estimate Socash saves up to 30% in commissions paid. With this acquisition, Nium can offer a lower-cost payment processing alternative for digital merchants, spanning local payment acceptance through to global payouts.”

The deal comes at a time when the demand for alternative payment methods (APMs), including e-wallets, real-time bank transfers, and electronic cash, increases globally.

According to the World Bank, 45% of global consumers already use a mobile wallet while 18% consumers depend on credit cards for payments in both online and digital spaces.

However, cash acceptance for online transactions is said to be a popular use case, especially amongst 1.7 billion people who remain unbanked as per World Bank estimates.

This acquisition will help Nium facilitate a more inclusive financial system that allows consumers to pay as they choose.

Last month, Nium established a new brokerage payments solution that helps international financial institutions settle transactions to select US brokerages.