The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and Bank of Thailand (BOT) have jointly launched a new cross-border payment-versus-payment (PvP) link between Hong Kong’s US dollar real time gross settlement (RTGS) system and Thailand’s Thai Baht RTGS system (BAHTNET). This link is the third cross-border PvP link in Asia for HKMA’s RTGS system, said Peter Pang, deputy chief executive of the HKMA. The other two existing links are with Malaysia and Indonesia, he added.
Katsuaki Sato, founder and CEO of app monetization startup Metaps, sees no need to hide his company’s global amibitions. Where many young entrepreneurs are content to steadily grow in Japan and then carefully consider international markets, Sato has fought to create an international service since 2010, the firm’s third year of existence. His aggressive expansion has been a success. The priority of the Japanese market has given way to the United States and China’s where Metaps’ have helped local apps monetize.
The money transfer option in WeChat is a relatively small step in WeChat’s long march to turn itself from being China’s ubiquitous messaging app into a useful mobile wallet service. It already encompasses online payments, ecommerce, an online personal finance fund, and online taxi ordering. This evolution first started last summer with the introduction of WeChat Payments for the app’s Chinese users.
More than six months after China’s Twitter-esque Sina Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) launched a mobile wallet feature, the social network is about to roll out user-to-user money transfers. A private beta of the money transfers is now in testing, as seen by Techweb, in the Weibo mobile app. It will go live to the public in an app update next week. Both the sender and recipient must be Weibo users.
2C2P, a Bangkok-based online payment processing company, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from GMO Global Payment Fund, a sister company of GMO Payment Gateway, which also invested US$500,000 into the startup late last year. This investment aligns with the GMO Payment Gateway’s latest move to partner 2C2P as it expands into Thailand. Ryu Muramatsu, director and founding partner of GMO Venture Partners, explained the reasoning behind the latest round to Tech in Asia:
Today, GMO Internet Group‘s online payment service provider, GMO Payment Gateway Inc. (TSE1:3769), has announced the Thai launch of its global payment processing service, GMO-PG Global Payment, in partnership with regional epayment gateway, 2C2P. This marks the fifth overseas entity for the Japan-based company after Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan.
SINGAPORE: Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) and Standard Chartered (StanChart) have jumped on the mobile money bandwagon on Tuesday (June 3) with a joint service that lets customers pay friends and merchants with funds stored on their phones via an app. Called Dash, the service will allow smartphone users to make payments at around 20,000 acceptance points in Singapore by the end of this year, including retail outlets, convenience stores and taxis.
TAIPEI — Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten (樂天) Inc. has gained regulatory approval from the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC, 金管會) to issue credit cards in Taiwan, as part of its efforts to achieve an ambitious growth target this year. The FSC announced late Tuesday that Rakuten Card Co., a credit card subsidiary of the Japanese online retailer, had been given approval to set up Rakuten Card Taiwan Inc. with capital of NT$300 million (US$9.93 million).
China Merchants Bank has issued an official notice that it will prohibit the use of bank accounts under its control for all Bitcoin transactions, including vouchers and recharge codes. OkCoin, BTC China, and Huobi all use China Merchants Bank for transactions. Huobi has already closed its Merchant’s Bank voucher account and switched to ICBC (big hat-tip to Rui Ma).
Epayments are taking off in Indonesia as ecommerce grows in country. That has caused the Bank of Indonesia to revise its regulations governing the nation’s epayment services. The central bank recently reported that there are an average of 420,000 daily transactions with total value of IDR 8.7 billion (US$762,000) using epayment tools. There are currently 17 online payment companies in Indonesia.
Alipay, China’s popular third-party payment service from tech giant Alibaba, will now be integrated onto Rakuten Global Market, the international e-commerce branch of “Japan’s Amazon.” According to an official statement from Rakuten, 250 shops on Rakuten Global Market will open up transactions with Alipay, though the company intends to increase that number gradually. Currently, 10,000 of Rakuten’s 42,000 domestic vendors sell goods internationally on Rakuten Global Market.
Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), the Chinese tech giant best known for its search engine, announced yesterday it will roll out a new mobile wallet app called Baidu Wallet (baidu qianbao), reports Jinghua.cn (via Techweb). Like its main rivals from Alibaba (Alipay) and Tencent (Tenpay and WeChat Payments), Baidu Wallet serves as a Swiss army knife for the average Chinese consumer’s finance needs.
A couple of months back, Sultan Ibrahim of Johor bought a 15 percent stake in Malaysia-based payment company MOL at US$120 million. Today, a cash payment service for ecommerce merchants named MOLPay CASH has just been rolled out in Malaysia – the result of a partnership between MOLPay, Southeast Asia’s leading online payment solutions provider, and 7-Eleven Malaysia, the country’s largest convenience store chain.
One Japanese startup is looking to challenge PayPal by attracting ecommerce merchants and businesses to its new, zero-commission epayment service. Metaps has launched the brand-new Spike into private beta, and it’s now available to online sellers in the US. Choy Wai Cheong, the Singapore-based director and CEO of Metaps, says the aim is to get 30,000 clients using Spike by the end of this year.
Singaporeans – if you’re looking for a reason to purchase the Samsung Galaxy S5, you might have one. The Korean hardware manufacturer will be partnering with PayPal, the global third-party payment service, to launch PayPal fingerprint login for all Galaxy S5 owners residing in the city-state. This means that Galaxy S5 owners who want to buy a pair of shoes on their mobile phones via PayPal, or at a shoe store that accepts offline payments from PayPal, now don’t have to go through the tedious process of thumbing in one’s PayPal username and password. Swiping one’s finger across the phone’s fingerprint sensor does the trick.
GoCoin, a California and Singapore-based company that is creating a PayPal for digital currencies, has closed a US$1.5 million series A venture round led by former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta and Bitcoin Shop, an ecommerce website that transacts in Bitcoin. Crypto Currency Partners also joined the round. GoCoin’s competitors in Bitcoin payment processing include the well-funded Coinbase and BitPay. Brock Pierce, co-founder of GoCoin, told CoinDesk that his company is the number three cryptocurrency payment provider globally.
Chinese mobile content search engine and Android app store Wandoujia today announced it closed its series B round of financing with a follow-on investment from US investment bank Goldman Sachs. The undisclosed amount of funding comes just after Wandoujia’s $120 million funding led by Japanese mobile telco SoftBank. Wandoujia says this is Goldman Sachs’ first investment in a Chinese mobile internet company. Other Goldman Sachs investments in Chinese online firms include ebook platform Shanda Cloudary and Shanghai-based pet product store Boqii.
Alibaba’s third-party payment system Alipay next week plans to issue one million “virtual credit cards,” according to the company’s official English-language blog Alizila. Alipay teamed up with China CITIC Bank to make the digital plastic usable anywhere CITIC credit cards are accepted online. The cards can also be used offline at retail locations that accept the Alipay Wallet app.
Xiaomi founder Lei Jun registered an electronic payment company in Beijing late in December last year, according to the Beijing Municipal Administration for Industry (hat-tip to TechNode for spotting). Xiaomi acknowledged the company but refused to comment further. The few details revealed in the registration form reveal Xiaomi is indeed working on something in the payment sector. Lei Jun registered the company with RMB 50 million (US$8.25 million) in capital. For now, we can only speculate as to what the company will be, but something similar to Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s Tenpay certainly seems like a strong possibility.