Singaporean telecom operator Singtel has launched its cross-border mobile payment alliance VIA in Japan using the StarPay platform of Japanese mobile payment technology firm NETSTARS.
Singtel partnered with NETSTARS in March this year.
NETSTARS CEO Tsuyoshi Ri said: “With digital payments gaining popularity and more travellers visiting Japan every year, we’re seeing more Japanese merchants show interest in accepting cross-border mobile payments.
“Merchants really appreciate the ease and convenience of digital payments, especially when transacting with overseas customers who may be unfamiliar with local currency.”
Currently, merchants at the Haneda Airport International Terminal, operated by Japan Airport Terminal, will be able to accept payments from tourists in their local currency on VIA.
Plans are on to add more acceptance points in the country, including convenience stores, restaurants, and department stores in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hokkaido.
Singtel CEO of International Group Arthur Lang said: “This is a big step in further bridging the digital economies of Japan and Southeast Asia, facilitating travel for our customers and connecting Japanese merchants to more consumers.
“Our platform allows anyone with a mobile wallet on VIA to pay – in their home currency – at key merchants in Japan. We will be announcing more wallets joining the VIA alliance in the coming months.”
Launched last year, VIA includes mobile wallets Singtel Dash, AIS GLOBAL Pay, Kasikornbank’s K Plus and Axiata Digital’s Boost Malaysia within its network.