Multi-currency wallet YouTrip is strengthening its push into Southeast Asia following a six-year deal with Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments. Currently operating in Singapore and Thailand, it plans to kick off its next stage of expansion in Malaysia and the Philippines.
“Our partnership with Visa will enable our continued growth to drive the next generation of payment innovation of cross border payments. We are incredibly excited for the opportunities ahead to serve millions of consumers in Southeast Asia and empower them with the solutions they deserve,” says CEO Caecilia Chu.
As part of this expansion, YouTrip is looking to tap into Visa’s global network of 70 million merchant locations worldwide. It plans to launch its first Visa debit cards in Malaysia and the Philippines.
Matt Wood, Head of Digital Partnerships Asia Pacific at Visa, told the media, “We are excited to work with YouTrip across Southeast Asia to provide consumers and businesses with a multi-currency payment solution that is ideal for international eCommerce and cross-border travel. Together, we look forward to bringing faster, safer and more convenient digital payments to people across the region.”
The announcement comes a year following YouTrip’s initial regional expansion to Thailand. It partnered with Kasikornbank - one of the Kingdom’s largest - which boasts 13.9 million online customers as of last November. With rising disposable incomes and greater air connectivity, the region looks to be a key part of Asia Pacific’s projected US$541million ($713.8 million) outbound tourism expenditure in 2030.
SEE: Visa and Singapore Tourism Board ink three-year partnership to revive local tourism industry
“Consumers in Southeast Asia are also demonstrating a strong preference for digital payments, with close to 70 per cent expecting their usage of cashless payment methods to increase over the next 12 months, according to Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes study,” notes a press release issued by the Singapore-based startup.
Malaysia and the Philippines have been chosen due to their “massive untapped potential”. Outbound travel expenditure in these countries is seen to reach US$12.4 billion and US$12 billion respectively. They are also two of the fastest-growing Southeast Asian countries in terms of mobile payment adoption, with adoption rates from 2018 to 2019 rising from 17% to 40% and 14% to 45% respectively.
Says YouTrip’s Regional General Manager Kelvin Lam, ““In a short span of two years, we have established YouTrip as a leading multi-currency wallet in both Singapore and Thailand. With our strong foundation, we look forward to combining our market-winning expertise along with Visa’s payment innovations to the rest of Southeast Asia.”