Alibaba gives nod to Thailand’s TrueMoney

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding is backing Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand’s TrueMoney payment service, which will expand to Bangkok’s train services as early as September.

Passengers will be able to pay fares and shop at station kiosks by scanning a QR code on their smartphone screen.

Alibaba’s Ant Financial owns about 20 per cent of TrueMoney, which aims to expand its network 10-fold to 100,000 locations by the end of this year. Users can charge their accounts at Thailand’s more than 10,000 7-Eleven convenience stores, which are run by the Charoen Pokphand group in Thailand, or link them to a credit card or bank account. The group also has 27 million subscribers of its telecom company True.

Next, say industry observers, cafes and fast-food chains, including KFC, are on the radar for TrueMoney, which aims to overtake Rabbit Line Pay, the market-leading service from Japanese messaging app provider Line and elevated train service BTS Group Holdings. About 60 per cent of Thailand’s population uses the Line chat app, with users of the mobile pay service now numbering about 3 million.

Alibaba partnered with Philippine conglomerate Ayala last year and launched mobile payments mainly at shopping malls and supermarkets.

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