Mastercard commits to Asian real-time payments hub
Mastercard has announced a commitment to deliver a growing suite of real-time and digital payment solutions across Asia Pacific through its regional real-time payments hub, with data centres in Thailand and Singapore. The financial services firm added that it would continue to extend payments applications and value-added services such as ‘Pay by Account’ in the region.
Mastercard has a long track record of providing payments services in Asia Pacific, and now, through its acquisition of Vocalink, it provides account-based real-time payments infrastructure to multiple markets in the region. In Singapore, Vocalink has provided the technology behind FAST since 2014, and in Thailand, it has licensed its technology to Thailand’s local switch company, National Interbank Transaction Management and Exchange (ITMX), and was also a strategic partner for the launch of PromptPay in 2017.
PromptPay enables users to pay directly from their bank account using the recipient’s mobile phone number or national ID. According to the latest figures from the Bank of Thailand, PromptPay has had 48 million registrations since launch. In February 2019, Mastercard also became the first company to partner with National ITMX, to widen the e-commerce acceptance of Thai debit cards in Thailand.
Real-time payments have become increasingly popular around the world for both businesses and consumers, offering an effective, secure and efficient way to send and receive money. As funds are immediately available once the transaction is approved, real-time payments help to improve cash flow, deliver operational improvements, data transparency and accuracy. A global Mastercard survey showed that 85% of financial institutions see real-time payments as a solution to improving efficiencies in the payment system.