AirAsia Group’s e-wallet unit BigPay has recently secured $100 million in financing from South Korea’s conglomerate SK Group to further their mission in becoming the leading challenger bank in Southeast Asia, according to media reports.
With the help of these fresh funds, the company will extend its services, product sets, along with growing the model to new markets. Founded in 2017, BigPay offers its customers in Singapore and Malaysia a digital wallet that comes with prepaid debit cards, local and international money transfers, micro-insurance, bill payments and a budgeting tool.
The news of this investment comes after BigPay announced its application for a digital banking license in Malaysia as it plans to expand to new countries, starting with Thailand. The investment round is all set to solidify AirAsia’s digital strategy as it continues to accelerate its growth and expansion efforts for its financial services and logistics.
Salim Dhanani, CEO, BigPay, told the media, “Our mission is to become a leading challenger bank across Southeast Asia. We’ve established ourselves in Malaysia as one of the leading providers of digital banking services, and we want to expand our product sets, along with growing the model to new markets. Thailand and the wider ASEAN is next, but we’ll be launching key products before that – with fully digital personal loans, transactional lending and an offering for MSMEs.”
On July 1, AirAsia announced that BigPay is partnering with Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd in a consortium to apply for Malaysia’s digital banking licence. Other partners are Ikhlas Capital Master Fund, which is a private equity firm that is partly owned by former banker Datuk Seri Nazir Razak and a foreign conglomerate that comes with fintech expertise.