Thanks to Singtel’s VIA mobile payment alliance, you can now shop with your Singtel Dash app in Japan. Currently, it is limited to merchants at Haneda Airport International Terminal which are operated by Japan Airport Terminal Co.
In the near future, they are expanding out to Singaporeans’ favorite cities like Osaka, Kyoto, and Hokkaido.
In Singapore (or China), you scan the merchant’s QR code and enter the value to pay that merchant.
With VIA payment system, it uses the QR code generated by the app in this sequence:
- Launch eWallet
- Display your QR Code
- Merchant scan your QR code
- You enter the amount in their currency
- Check and confirm the payment
Here is a graphical explanation of the sequence.
Check out the Press Release for more details or you can go to their official website to check out all the merchants supporting VIA in their respective countries (Singapore, Japan, Thailand).
Singtel’s VIA mobile payment alliance debuts in Japan
Tokyo, 25 July 2019 – Singtel’s VIA, Asia’s first cross-border mobile payment alliance has launched in Japan. Merchants at Haneda Airport International Terminal which are operated by Japan Airport Terminal Co, can now accept QR code payments from tourists on VIA, with more acceptance points across Japan due to be added in the coming year. NETSTARS is the participating network enabling payments.
The VIA alliance is the first initiative of its kind to connect both telco and non-telco mobile wallets across borders to create a region-wide payment network that will enable consumers to use their local mobile wallets at participating merchants when travelling. The alliance which currently counts Singtel’s Dash and AIS GLOBAL Pay among its member mobile wallets enables tourists from Singapore and Thailand to shop and dine across Japan using QR code payments in their local currency at competitive exchange rates.
Following the launch at Haneda, VIA will expand into the rest of Tokyo and other popular tourist destinations such as Osaka, Kyoto and Hokkaido. Acceptance points will include convenience stores, restaurants and department stores.
Mr Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group, said, “Japan is one of the most popular destinations for tourists from the region and we’re excited to be expanding VIA here. In Southeast Asia, digital payments are gaining widespread acceptance and fast replacing cash as the preferred transaction mode. 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.”
Mr Tsuyoshi Ri, CEO, NETSTARS, 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. The VIA alliance is the perfect partner for NETSTARS to open our merchants to a much larger consumer base, one that will continue to grow exponentially as the alliance expands.”
Mr Takeshi Fujino, Executive Officer, Japan Airport Terminal Co, said, “We are delighted to have our merchants in Haneda be the first to accept Singtel’s VIA mobile payment alliance in Japan. As the gateway to Japan, we welcome this opportunity to collaborate with Singtel and NETSTARS to enhance the travel experience for our visitors from Southeast Asia and drive mobile payments. Together, we will bring convenience to users and merchants as we move towards a cashless society in Japan.”
The adoption of VIA comes ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, giving tourists the familiarity and convenience of paying with their local mobile wallets as they enjoy the games as well as well-known tourist attractions.
Japan has seen robust growth in tourist numbers from Southeast Asia in recent years. There were over 3.3 million arrivals from Southeast Asia in 2018, an increase of 14%, with tourists from Thailand rising 15%, breaking 1 million for the first time1. With Southeast Asians leading a mobile-first lifestyle and QR codes being the dominant digital payment solution in the region, the launch of VIA will contribute to Japanese tourism and is expected to boost store sales.
The VIA alliance was launched in October 2018 and is expanding to include Thailand’s Kasikornbank’s K Plus, Axiata Digital’s Boost Malaysia and Indonesia’s LinkAja. This will see the alliance grow to represent some 40 million mobile wallet users and 2.1 million merchants across Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan. The Singtel Group plans to expand the alliance to include its other regional associates as well as non-telcos.
VIA acceptance is facilitated by “StarPay”, a multi-settlement gateway by NETSTARS that supports QR code payment. As “StarPay” is already deployed at merchants in Haneda Airport, VIA can be introduced and accepted smoothly without additional equipment or operational changes.
For more information, visit www.viaconnects.com.
1 Source: Japan National Tourism Organization
Singtel is Asia’s leading communications technology group, providing a portfolio of services from next-generation communication, technology services to infotainment to both consumers and businesses. For consumers, Singtel delivers a complete and integrated suite of services, including mobile, broadband and TV. For businesses, Singtel offers a complementary array of workforce mobility solutions, data hosting, cloud, network infrastructure, analytics and cyber-security capabilities. The Group has presence in Asia, Australia and Africa and reaches over 690 million mobile customers in 21 countries. Its infrastructure and technology services for businesses span 21 countries, with more than 428 direct points of presence in 362 cities.
For more information, visit www.singtel.com.
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NETSTARS, founded in 2009, is a technology company which focuses on mobile payment. It is established as the largest multi-payment aggregator in Japan, by integrating all major Japanese payment brands (LINE Pay, PayPay, Rakuten Pay, Docomo Pay, etc) and overseas payment brands (WeChat Pay and Alipay). NETSTARS is the pioneer company to introduce WeChat Pay into Japan in 2015. Today, NETSTARS’ in-house software system, StarPay®, helps its partners to tap into the Japanese market with strong merchant network. This network consists of airports, shopping malls, food and beverages outlets, tourist attractions and transportation across Japan. Furthermore, it has targeted to reach at least one million stores by end of 2020. Additionally, NETSTARS aims to connect the whole world through StarPay®, starting with the strategic collaboration through VIA.
About Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd.
Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd has been dedicated to the expansion and enhancement of Haneda Airport with an emphasis on convenience, comfort and functionality since the opening of the first passenger terminal in 1955. Based on the principle of ‘communal and corporate harmony’, Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd. continues to work toward the development of a safer and more attractive Haneda Airport to uphold its responsibility of operating passenger terminals that serve the public.