UnionPay International Targets Growth in Contactless Payment Adoption by Smaller Merchants in Southeast Asia

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 21 December 2021

UnionPay International (UPI) has introduced its SoftPOS (Point-of-Sale) solution for the first time using a payment technology powered by the world’s leading SoftPOS player Soft Space.

The SoftPOS solution to be launched in Malaysia is expected to create greater market opportunities for UPI to grow its contactless acceptance, particularly in Southeast Asia, adding to its already considerable acceptance across 180 countries and regions globally.

The solution will enable UPI to offer its SoftPOS solution to merchants of all sizes – especially small medium enterprises (SMEs) – simplicity and convenience. This UPI SoftPOS solution, a first for UPI and to be launched in Malaysia, transforms consumer-grade NFC Android smartphones with near-field communication (NFC) into a secure, easy-to-use payment terminal in order to accept contactless UnionPay transactions.

“UPI’s vision is to always push new boundaries in payment innovation. We are very pleased to be able to partner a leading Fintech player like Soft Space to lead the rollout of this cutting-edge technology,” said Huiming Cai, General Manager, UnionPay International Southeast Asia. “This bold step we took to make this happen will serve as a model and a stepping-stone towards UPI’s aspiration to further innovate throughout the region.”

“We applaud UPI for taking a step forward in innovating their contactless acceptance with us, leading them to introduce SoftPOS acceptance in Malaysia,” said Joel Tay, the Chief Executive Officer of Soft Space. “We believe the introduction of UPI SoftPOS will be a boon as more than 50%[1] of card transactions are already contactless today.”

According to SME Corporation Malaysia, SMEs make up of 97.2% of Malaysia’s economy in 2020[2] and this makes Malaysia an ideal location for UPI to grow its contactless acceptance.

As part of the launch, UPI is working with AmBank Group to utilise its existing SoftPOS solution, “mTAP,” to encourage smaller merchants, which may be hesitant to adopt contactless payments due to the high cost and the inconvenience associated with traditional payment terminals. UPI’s SoftPOS solution will soon be available at J’s Gate Dining, a Japanese food dining complex in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

“mTAP benefits both SMEs and consumers. The solution is viable and cost-effective which can encourage more SMEs to accept card payments. At the same time, consumers are able to gain access to smarter and innovative financial services. This effort will further strengthen our SME-in-a-Box value proposition which includes attractive deposit, loan, transactional and protection products amongst others. SMEs that wish to open an account with AmBank can do so easily through our digital app, AmAccessBiz, or by going to any of our 170 branches nationwide,” said Aaron Loo, Managing Director, Retail Banking, AmBank.

Developed based on Soft Space’s Fasstap solution, the UPI SoftPOS demonstrates Fasstap’s competency and compatibility that meet all of UPI’s stringent payment acceptance standards.

Fasstap is Soft Space’s proprietary payment solution, which was introduced as the world’s first PIN-based SoftPOS solution in 2018[3]. It has since received endorsement from major card schemes and deployed to some of the largest financial service institutions and corporate enterprises in Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and the Middle East.