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YouTrip inks partnership with Visa to expand footprint in Southeast Asia

Singapore’s multi-currency mobile wallet YouTrip announced a six-year partnership with digital payments firm Visa to accelerate its expansion into the rest of Southeast Asia, starting with Malaysia and the Philippines. Currently launched in Singapore and Thailand, YouTrip has amassed over one million downloads to date.

The announcement comes a year after YouTrip’s first regional expansion to Thailand in partnership with Kasikornbank, one of Thailand’s largest banks with over 13.9 million online banking customers as of November 2020.

Amid pandemic, YouTrip established a strong foothold in the multi-currency space online. Most recently, YouTrip has pivoted to overseas e-commerce payment and recorded a three-fold increase in quarterly transactions, compared to the same period last year.

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“We are excited to work with YouTrip across Southeast Asia to provide consumers and businesses with a multi-currency payment solution that is ideal for international eCommerce and cross-border travel,” said Matt Wood, head of Digital Partnerships Asia Pacific, Visa. “Together, we look forward to bringing faster, safer, and more convenient digital payments to people across the region.”

The partnership with Visa will fuel YouTrip’s mission to bring the best cross-border payment experience to travelers in Southeast Asia (SEA). With rising disposable incomes and increased air connectivity, the region is part of Asia Pacific’s (APAC) projected $541million outbound tourism expenditure in 2030.

Cross-border payments

“Our partnership with Visa will enable our continued growth to drive the next generation of payment innovation of cross-border payments. We are incredibly excited for the opportunities ahead to serve millions of consumers in Southeast Asia and empower them with the solutions they deserve,” said Caecilia Chu, co-founder and CEO of YouTrip.

Consumers in SEA are also demonstrating a strong preference for digital payments, with close to 70% expecting their usage of cashless payment methods to increase over the next 12 months, according to Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes study published in August 2019.

With regional travel poised to be the first step toward international travel recovery, this presents YouTrip with an opportunity to solve a unique pain point for SEA travelers. Unlike regional travel in other parts of the world such as Europe or the United States of America, traveling within the region requires multi-currency spending. Coupled with the year-long pent up demand for travel and cross-border payment, this puts YouTrip in good stead for further expansion. Leveraging on Visa’s global network of 70 million merchant locations worldwide, YouTrip aims to enable SEA travellers with access to cross border payment solutions such as wholesale exchange rates and no foreign currency transaction fees in over 150 currencies.

YouTrip looks to Malaysia and the Philippines as the next potential markets in the next six to 12 months. The two markets present massive untapped potential with outbound travel expenditure expected to reach $12.4 billion and $12 billion from Malaysia and the Philippines, respectively in 2021. Additionally, Malaysia and the Philippines are two of the fastest-growing SEA countries in mobile payment adoption, from 17% to 40% and 14% to 45% respectively. The partnership presents YouTrip the opportunity to bring its hyper-localized, “Truly No Fees” proposition to a growing group of digitally adept travelers.

“In a short span of two years, we have established YouTrip as a leading multi-currency wallet in both Singapore and Thailand. With our strong foundation, we look forward to combining our market-winning expertise along with Visa’s payment innovations to the rest of Southeast Asia, starting with Malaysia and the Philippines,” said Kelvin Lam, regional general manager of YouTrip.