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SK Group expands foothold in Southeast Asia fintech sector

SK South East Asia Investment invests $60 mn in AirAsia’s digital banking unit BigPay

By Aug 09, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

SK Group expands foothold in Southeast Asia fintech sector

South Korea’s energy and telecom conglomerate SK Group is aggressively strengthening its foothold in the Southeast Asian fintech business.

SK South East Asia Investment Ltd. said on Aug. 6 that it invested $60 million in BigPay, a fintech unit of Malaysia’s AirAsia Group Bhd. The direct investment came after SK South East Asia Investment participated in a BigPay-led digital banking business in Malaysia as a financial investor.

BigPay, which provides payments and remittance services in Malaysia and Singapore, is competitive in the digital wallet sector, according to the industry sources. BigPay will expand its business to the entire Southeast Asia with licenses for payments and remittance services in other countries such as Thailand and the Philippines.

SK obtained rights to join BigPay’s business as a strategic partner through the latest investment, as well as an option to invest $40 million more in the future.

SK aims to dominate the Southeast Asian fintech market by providing BigPay with artificial intelligence (AI), data analysis know-how and expertise in the sector. SK intends to extend its business model towards including installment payment, loans and customer-tailored financial product brokerage services.

Malaysia’s fintech industry is expected to grow quickly as more than 80% of population in the country used a smartphone, according to market research firm Statista. Online transactions are rapidly increasing, while the digital wallet market is still in its early stage of growth.

Write to Chae-Yeon Kim at

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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