AIS buys into Rabbit-Line Pay in B787m deal

AIS buys into Rabbit-Line Pay in B787m deal

From left: Ariya Banomyong, managing director of Line Thailand, Somchai Lertsutiwong, CEO of Advanced Info Service Plc, and Keeree Kanjanapas, chairman of BTS Group Holdings Plc, shake hands after the deal. (Photo supplied by Advanced Info Service Plc)
From left: Ariya Banomyong, managing director of Line Thailand, Somchai Lertsutiwong, CEO of Advanced Info Service Plc, and Keeree Kanjanapas, chairman of BTS Group Holdings Plc, shake hands after the deal. (Photo supplied by Advanced Info Service Plc)

Advanced Info Service Plc, the country’s largest mobile phone operator, has bought into Rabbit-Line Pay Co Ltd, an e-money and e-payment provider.

AIS, through its wholly owned mobile payment operator Advanced mPay Co Ltd, paid 787 million baht for new shares issued by Rabbit-Line Pay, it told the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Monday.

After the deal, Advanced mPAY; Line Pay Corporation and Line Company (Thailand) Co Ltd; and Rabbit Pay System Co will each own 33.33% of the company.

Somchai Lertsutiwong, CEO of AIS, said his company aimed to be a leader in e-money or digital money within three years. 

Before AIS’s entry, the two-year-old Rabbit-Line Pay Co Ltd was a joint venture between Line Thailand and Rabbit Pay System of the skytrain operators BTS. It began operation by offering payments through the Rabbit Line Pay service in Line chat application. Users can refill their e-wallets using debit or credit cards to pay BTS fares and buy Line stickers and several other services or goods.

Nelson Leung, CEO of Bangkok Smartcard System Co Ltd, a BTS subsidiary, said the Rabbit card had 8.5 million users and the entry of AIS should attract more customers.

Ariya Banomyong, managing director Line Thailand, said 87% of Thais did not have credit cards. Rabbit Line services would allow more Thais to buy products and services more conveniently.

He also wrote on Facebook the partnership would spur the growth of digital money and cashless society for Thais.

Users can pay through multiple channels such as MyAIS app, Line Pay, and AIS Line official account. They can also pay bills, buy goods online, order food, parcel delivery and taxi service through Line Man and Line Taxi, he said.

AIS shares closed down 0.25% to 196.50 baht in trade worth 1.3 billion baht while BTS shares were unchanged at 8.20 baht on Monday.



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