E-payment deal defies tax plan

E-payment deal defies tax plan

Omise enters pact to buy DTAC's Paysbuy

People pay their bills at a Paysbuy booth. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)
People pay their bills at a Paysbuy booth. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)

Competition in the e-payment market continues to surge, despite the threat of a tax on e-commerce business.

The acquisition of Paysbuy by startup payment gateway Omise underlines the trend. Paysbuy is the payment gateway unit of Total Access Communications (DTAC).

Omise announced it has entered into an agreement with DTAC in which Omise will acquire Paysbuy's payment services. With this acquisition, Paysbuy's assets and services will be merged into Omise.

"This deal will combine the strengths of both parties," said Panthep Nilasinthop, DTAC assistant vice-president.

Paysbuy currently has two business units: payment gateway and e-wallet; and cash card, which is for prepaid card users. The payment gateway and e-wallet sections as well as 80 employees from them will be transferred to Omise within three to six months, while the cash card unit will remain at DTAC.

In 2016, transactions for Paysbuy's payment gateway were valued at 6 billion baht through thousands of merchants. The cash card business earned some 30 billion baht, deriving most of its transactions from prepaid DTAC subscribers and games.

"This acquisition is positive for merchants and the economy. It will accelerate the execution of Omise's new products and services," said Jun Hasegawa, chief executive and founder of Omise. During the transition, both companies confirmed their merchants can continue doing business as usual.

Paysbuy was founded in 2004 and sold to DTAC in 2007. Its co-founder Somgwang Luangphaiboonsri is now the country manager of PayPal Thailand. PayPal opened here in 2016. Paysbuy has developed payment expertise, delivering a broad range of payment solutions to the e-commerce industry.

Omise operates in Thailand and Japan, with the service to be available in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia soon. Last year Omise secured US$17.5 million in its Series B financing round. The round marks one of the largest Series B investments for a fintech company in Southeast Asia.

Piyachart Ratanaprasartporn, chief executive of 2C2P Thailand, one of the payment gateway pioneers, said Omise' s acquisition did not affect 2C2P as the company focuses on enterprise while Paysbuy is strong in small and medium-sized enterprises. However, the e-payment business has the potential to grow thanks to the next phase of PromptPay that will expand to online merchants.

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