Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) says it has partnered with Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) to accelerate the development and delivery of NETS cross-border payment services on August 24.

The service will also leverage on Singtel’s advanced ConnectPlus Managed Network and Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud computing platform for NETS to provide quick and localised connectivity for potential partners to access its cross-border payment services.

This means Singaporeans will soon be able to make purchases using NETS at more retail outlets abroad in Southeast Asia while foreign visitors will be able to use their overseas e-wallets and services to pay NETS's merchants in Singapore.

The collaboration comes as Southeast Asia’s underbanked population, worth an estimated US$1 trillion ($1.31 trillion) by 2025, will need more access to digital financial services.

According to Bain’s 2019 e-Conomy SEA report research, the region will have more than 300 million internet users, with 80% of these users being digital savvy and mobile-first consumers who expect convenience and personalisation, and better access to digital payment services.

Through the partnership, Singtel will use its advanced software-defined network services to provide dedicated, secure high-speed connectivity to support NETS’ regional payment network.

"We are very excited to embark on this collaboration with Singtel through which NETS will be well-positioned to facilitate cross-border commerce by integrating ASEAN+ travel corridors whilst making payments simple and easy for consumers," says NETS Group CEO Lawrence Chan.

"The initiative will spur cross-border digital payment growth for overseas payments partners particularly micro merchants, and help them leverage this to expand their market beyond domestic borders," Chan adds.

As at 10.24am, shares in Singtel are trading 1 cent higher, or 0.4% up, at $2.29.