SINGAPORE (Oct 15): Tourists from China and Singapore make up the bulk of sales for Bangkok-based handbag brand NaRaYa. Its brightly coloured outlet, located at CentralWorld, one of the largest shopping complexes in the world, already accepts a number of e-payment options to accommodate these visitors, but it is adding a new mobile payment network — Singapore Telecommunications-backed VIA.

“This is how we want to drive sales and capture more tourists,” says NaRaYa’s president Wasna R Lathouras, adding that her company’s sales fell 20% last year, owing to the country’s political instability. Currently, cashless transactions, mostly from the Alipay platform, make up 22% of sales. NaRaYa hopes VIA would raise the figure further.

On Oct 2, Singtel unveiled VIA, an e-payment alliance with its 23%-owned Thai associate Advanced Info Service (AIS) that allows e-wallets under their banner to interoperate in Singapore and Thailand. The alliance also includes Thailand’s largest digital bank, Kasikornbank.

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