Digital payment competition heating up

Digital payment competition heating up

Competition in the digital payment field is expected to heat up as industry players receive investment funding, including US$120 million for Opn, a Japanese fintech company which launched the Omise online payment solution in Thailand in 2015.

Opn, previously under the brand Synqa, yesterday announced a Series C+ funding round worth $120 million, led by JIC Venture Growth Investments, MUFG Bank and Mars Growth Capital. Synqa is the parent company of Omise Payment Holdings, which provides one-stop online payment solutions.

Last month, digital payment service provider 2C2P said Ant Group, an affiliated company of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, agreed to acquire a majority stake in the Singapore-based company.

The investment, 2C2P said, could propel the company to become one of the main global financial service providers within two years.

According to Opn, the fresh funding round brings the total capital of the company to over $222 million to date.

Jun Hasegawa, chief executive and founder of Opn, said the company will use the funds to continue scaling up its business and expanding into new territories.

"This high-quality investment allows us to accelerate the development of our core payment solutions, while also expanding into new territories within our core markets of Southeast Asia and Japan and beyond," said Mr Hasegawa.

Opn specialises in online payment, blockchain technology for fintech applications and digital transformation solutions.

Takashi Toyokawa, head of global communications at Opn, told the Bangkok Post that the company will capitalise on the proceeds in two ways.

The first lies in the development of products and services that make payment more seamless and provide payment infrastructure for businesses of all sizes.

"We also provide digital touchpoints that enable us to merge the online and offline payment experiences," said Mr Toyokawa.

The second concerns geographic expansion.

"We offer our services in five countries and are growing in Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. We are preparing to expand further into new Southeast Asia territories, and have longer term ambitions to expand globally," said Mr Toyokawa.

Synqa said its service was rebranding to Opn to better reflect its strategic vision and to fulfil its mission of enabling access to the digital economy for everyone.

According to Mr Toyokawa, so far the firm has largely focused on its payment infrastructure platform that helps merchants grow their businesses.

"We are now also focused on enabling one-stop payments for people through products like Opn Tag, which we launched in Thailand already and have plans to launch in Japan and in other regions," said Mr Toyokawa. "The service enables payment at restaurants, hotels and other physical stores through QR code technology or NFC, which is pre-built into most iOS and Android devices."

Responding to the intense competition in the segment, Mr Toyokawa said: "Our focus is on improving the payment experience for both businesses and people, and working our way backwards to relieve pain points.

"Our payment platform enables over 45 different payment methods via API, and we work with various payment processors globally."


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