YouTrip ties up with Visa, looks to expand into Malaysia and Philippines

Singapore's multi-currency travel wallet YouTrip has inked a six-year partnership with Visa to accelerate its expansion into the rest of Southeast Asia. Leveraging on Visa's global network of 70 million merchant locations worldwide, YouTrip aims to enable Southeast Asia travellers with access to cross-border payment solutions such as wholesale exchange rates and no foreign currency transaction fees in over 150 currencies.

YouTrip is first looking at Malaysia and the Philippines as its next potential markets in the next six to 12 months. Citing The Business Times, YouTrip said the two markets present massive untapped potential with outbound travel expenditure expected to reach US$12.4 billion and US$12.0 billion from Malaysia and Philippines respectively in 2021. Additionally, Malaysia and the Philippines are two of the fastest-growing Southeast Asian countries in mobile payment adoption, from 17% to 40% and 14% to 45% respectively, according to PwC. YouTrip said its partnership with Visa presents the opportunity to bring its hyper localised, "Truly No Fees" proposition to a growing group of digitally adept travellers. This comes a year after YouTrip’s first regional expansion to Thailand in partnership with one of its banks Kasikornbank.

According to Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes study, consumers in Southeast Asia are 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. Furthermore, with regional travel poised to be the first step towards international travel recovery, YouTrip sees an opportunity to solve a unique pain point for Southeast Asian travellers: travelling within Southeast Asia with multi-currency spending. Coupled with the year-long pent up demand for travel and cross-border payment, YouTrip said it is in good stead for further expansion. 

Despite the pandemic, YouTrip said it continues to "establish a strong foothold" in the multi-currency space online. Most recently, it pivoted to overseas e-commerce payment and recorded a three-fold increase in quarterly transactions, compared to the same period last year. The partnership with Visa will further fuel YouTrip’s mission to bring cross-border payment experience to the travellers in Southeast Asia, according to the mobile wallet company.

Caecilia Chu, co-founder and CEO of YouTrip said it is incredibly excited for the opportunities ahead to serve millions of consumers in Southeast Asia and empower them with the solutions they deserve. “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 Philippines,” Kelvin Lam, regional general manager of YouTrip added

Matt Wood, head of digital partnerships, Asia Pacific, Visa said: “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. Together, we look forward to bringing faster, safer and more convenient digital payments to people across the region.”

YouTrip joins the slew of companies partnering with Visa in recent months. In October last year, Shopee tied up with Visa for a five-year partnership that will encourage greater participation in Southeast Asia’s digital economy. Through the partnership, Shopee users will benefit by being able to pay using Visa and enjoy additional promotions and rewards. Visa will tap on Shopee’s extensive user base to expand its presence with Southeast Asia businesses and online shoppers.

Separately in September, Singapore Tourism Board sealed a three-year partnership with Visa to address the needs of Singapore’s tourism and lifestyle SMEs impacted by COVID-19. The STB-Visa collaboration focuses on two strategic areas to revive the local tourism industry - marketing partnerships and joint research and analytics. In Indonesia, EVOS Esports has also partnered with Visa for Indonesia's esports scene. Under the partnership, Visa will be used as the preferred payment solution when fans apply for EVOS Esports' membership. The esports organisation will also enable payments via Visa for in-game currency purchases and its merchandise.

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