,BigPay is an e-wallet initiative by AAG which had recently secured up to US$100mil (RM422.95mil) in financing from SK.
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PETALING JAYA: The entry of South Korean energy and telecoms conglomerate SK Group in AirAsia Group Bhd’s (AAG) BigPay bodes well for the latter and would give it a boost in its push into the region.
Analysts are positive on this development as the funding would mean that BigPay will be able to expand further in Asean. However, this new infusion of capital would need to be coupled with continuous innovation to compete in the fintech space.
BigPay is an e-wallet initiative by AAG which had recently secured up to US$100mil (RM422.95mil) in financing from SK.
This deal also means that SK has secured the rights to participate in projects that BigPay carries out as a strategic partner.
Reports from South Korea said SK plans to provide its artificial intelligence (AI) and data analysis know-how and fintech business expertise to BigPay and aims to dominate the South-East Asian fintech market with the e-wallet provider.
SK intends to expand the company’s business model to include installment payment, loan and customer-tailored financial product mediation services as part of its efforts to provide “one-stop” fintech services, the report added.
With this financial backing, BigPay wants to set itself up as a challenger bank in the Asean region.The SK Group’s know-how in fintech would be able to speed up the transformation of BigPay from an e-wallet into a full-fledged digital bank, the research house said.
However, for that to happen, it may need more rounds of funding in the future that would see different investors putting money into this initiative.
The evolution of fintech players like BigPay is inevitable as demand from consumers for online financial services keeps growing.
PublicInvest Research said it was mildly positive on the development in BigPay, given the potential scaling up of these operations and product development acceleration boosted by the new funds.
“The funding would enable BigPay to launch digital personal loans, transactional lending and other offerings for micro SMEs.”
It would also help the group grow the model in new markets such as Thailand and the wider Asean region, it said.
However, it added that while “we like this aspect of the group’s business, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to weigh heavily on its overall operations.’’
The research house maintained its “underperform’’ call on AAG with an unchanged target price of 19 sen.