DBS PayLah! users can scan UnionPay QR codes to make payments overseas
DBS PayLah! users can now make payments to local and overseas merchants in 45 markets by scanning UnionPay QR codes.
The app will convert currencies automatically, and users can review the price in Singapore dollars before confirming payment.
DBS Bank and UnionPay International (UPI) on Tuesday (June 21) announced the integration of the DBS PayLah! app with the UnionPay QR network of 31 million brick-and-mortar merchants around the world, including those in Singapore, China, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.
The service taps Singapore's Nets payment network to process the transactions.
DBS and UnionPay had earlier inked an agreement to collaborate on the integration in late 2018. This came after Nets signed an agreement with UnionPay earlier that year to make its services available outside of Singapore for the first time.
DBS on Tuesday said it is the first Singapore bank to offer this service.
Mr Anthony Seow, head of payments and platforms at the DBS Consumer Banking Group (Singapore), said: "With UnionPay QR Code payment now available to DBS PayLah! users, this will be the first instance of Singapore consumers being able to use a local app to perform QR Code payments overseas.
"It's a staggering milestone not just for DBS and UPI, but also for Singapore consumers who now have another simple, seamless, and secure way to pay both locally and overseas."
UnionPay, a Chinese financial services company that provides card payment services, is a rival of American counterparts Visa and Mastercard.
It is the dominant card payment service platform in mainland China, but has also been gaining ground elsewhere.
Last year, payment systems research firm Nilson ranked UnionPay first in the world by number of cards issued, with 9.4 billion cards in circulation. Visa had 3.7 billion cards and Mastercard had 2.5 billion.
UnionPay is also catching up in terms of global card purchase transactions.
Visa processed about 40 per cent of purchases in 2020, according to Nilson. UnionPay took second place with 32 per cent, followed by Mastercard with 24 per cent.
DBS PayLah! has about 2.2 million users and is the most widely used mobile wallet in Singapore, according to a 2021 survey by consumer research firm NielsenIQ Singapore.