TrueMoney, one of Southeast Asia's leading fintech companies, has partnered with Ant Group to launch cross-border mobile payments between Thailand and China, which will let Thai tourists use the TrueMoney e-wallet to make payments to tens of millions of merchants in China.
Cross-border payments are powered by the Alipay+ cross-border mobile payment ecosystem with over 10 million payment points in China. Alipay+ provides marketing and digitalisation solutions and is operated by China's Ant Group, a financial technology giant.
Monsinee Nakapanant, co-president of Ascend Money Co, the operator of TrueMoney, said the cooperation with Ant Group marks a significant milestone in the company's streamlining of cross-border payments to make it as effortless internationally as it is for domestic users.
China is an attractive destination for many Thai business and leisure travellers. In the wake of the Hangzhou Asian Games, the company aims to help Thai travellers overcome challenges posed by traditional payment methods and allow them to fully enjoy cashless experiences during their travels to China, Ms Monsinee said.
Ms Monsinee added that there are 28 million people in Thailand using the TrueMoney app at present.
Thanks to the partnership with Ant Group and the Alipay+ ecosystem, TrueMoney is now accepted by tens of millions of merchants in China, she added.
Ant Group recently welcomed seven new leading e-wallets and payment apps from Asia to the "Alipay+-in-China" programme (A+China programme), a major initiative of Ant Group to help China internationalise mobile payment services. The new additions, including TrueMoney Thailand, bring the total number of overseas e-wallets accepted on the Chinese mainland to 10.
Douglas Feagin, senior vice-president of Ant Group and head of Alipay+ Cross-Border Mobile Payment Services, said through Alipay +, TrueMoney users can already make transactions with many global online merchants as well as retail stores in countries that are top travel destinations for Thais, including Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Italy and France.
Thai tourists visiting China in the past usually used to face challenges in terms of having limited cashless payment options as few credit and debit cards were accepted. Many of them therefore relied on cash and money exchange services.
Now they can enjoy secure and smooth cashless payments and real-time foreign exchange services at competitive rates by just opening the TrueMoney app and going to the payment QR, clicking the Alipay+ tab, and choosing the country of the destination. TrueMoney's wallet balance will then be automatically converted into the remnimbi and would be ready to make a payment scan at any merchants featured under the Alipay sign.
Mr Douglas said Ant Group started its partnership with TrueMoney in 2016 through the Ascend Group, TrueMoney's parent company.
The Alipay+ system has now brought 10 Asian e-wallets to the Chinese mainland during the fall of 2023 by partnering with more than 20 local mobile payment partners, which have more than 1.4 billion global payment accounts, including tens of millions of global merchants.
"Since the end of last year, TrueMoney has expanded cross-border payment services and become available at Thais' most preferred destinations within Asia, such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. Adding China to our latest country outreach doubles down our efforts in making sure TrueMoney is available to serve Thais wherever they are," said Koravut Pavitpok, head of commercial at TrueMoney.
Before the pandemic, China was among the top five destinations where Thai expatriates resided and Thai tourists visited. Now that the country has removed its travel restrictions and allowed Thai tourists to resume visa applications in March this year, the number of Thai tourists and business travellers to China is expected to gradually increase, particularly once the 19th Asian Games start on Saturday in Hangzhou, and this is expected to continue through the holiday season.