Singtel launches its cross-border mobile payment capabilities in Japan, joining a handful of sectors outside of finance making a run at market share in the payments business.

Singtel’s VIA, cross-border mobile payment alliance in Asia, debuts first in Tokyo’s Haneda Airport before expanding to the rest of the city and beyond in popular tourist locations such as Osaka, Kyoto, and Hokkaido. NETTERS is the participating network enabling payments.

The VIA network enables tourists from Singapore (mobile wallet: Dash) and Thailand (mobile wallet: AIS Global Pay) to make payments in Japan using QR code in the local currency at a «competitive rate», the release said.

In Southeast Asia, digital payments are gaining widespread acceptance and fast replacing cash as the preferred transaction mode,» said Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group, adding that announcements of more wallets joining would be made in the coming months.

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, he added.