AUB, Alipay+ plan e-wallet for cross-border payments
AUB, Alipay+ plan e-wallet for cross-border payments

ASIA United Bank Corp. (AUB) has partnered with Alipay+ to enable the bank’s e-wallet, HelloMoney, for cross-border transactions and to provide an efficient payment experience for users whenever they go out of the country.

In a statement on Wednesday, AUB said the move makes it the first Philippine lender with an e-wallet that can be used overseas. HelloMoney will be made acceptable first in South Korea and Japan through the partnership. It will allow users to pay merchants that accept Alipay+.

AUB Executive Vice-President and IT & Operations Group Head Wilfredo Rodriguez, Jr. said that through the years, the bank has been building a “digital arsenal” of “pioneering initiatives and innovations.”

He said the bank’s end-to-end digital account opening enables clients to make banking easy through their mobile phones while allowing merchants to sustain their businesses as seen during the pandemic’s restricted mobility.

“With Alipay+’s global presence through its integration with local merchants worldwide, our HelloMoney users will have a wider reach in payment acceptance while ensuring a safe and secure digital transaction,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

About a million HelloMoney users would also be able to take advantage of more competitive exchange rates compared with prevailing market rates, the lender said.

As of October 2022, HelloMoney booked double-digit growth in transactions, rising by 45% to 19 million from last year. The value of transactions reached P63 billion or 49% higher than in 2021.

“AUB has been a long-term partner to Ant Group, and we are excited to extend the partnership further to enable its e-wallet’s cross-border operations through Alipay+,” Alipay+ Global Partnerships, Ant Group General Manager Jia Hang said.

Introduced by Ant Group, Alipay+ was designed to enable businesses to process a wide range of payment transactions and better serve regional and global clients.

“Despite it being a relatively young e-wallet, HelloMoney has garnered strong growth and adoption momentum among users. Through this partnership, users of HelloMoney can rely on the e-wallet when they travel overseas, too, without the hassle of carrying cash or change currencies,” Mr. Hang said.

AUB launched HelloMoney to let users digitally perform bank-to-bank fund transfers, buy prepaid load, remit money through PeraPadala, and transact using HelloMoney’s own virtual Mastercard.

The launch was followed by the release of Hello Pag-IBIG, the companion mobile app to the Pag-IBIG Loyalty Card Plus. In 2021, AUB introduced the HelloMoney Mastercard for online shopping.

AUB and its subsidiaries booked a net income of P1.7 billion in the third quarter, 70% higher than the P998.3 million booked in the same period in 2021, amid higher earnings from its core businesses.

This brought the group’s nine-month net profit to P4.6 billion, up 57% from the P2.9 billion a year prior, which it noted already surpassed its pre-pandemic performance.

The bank’s shares declined by 1.23% or 55 centavos to close at P40 apiece on Tuesday. — Keisha B. Ta-asan