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Liquid, Changi Airport Group to roll out QR platform

This is so airport merchants can accept payments from various QR apps

Singapore

HOMEGROWN startup Liquid Group is now looking to be the go-to provider of mobile-payment networks as it partners the Changi Airport Group to roll out an integrated QR ("Quick Response") payment and marketing platform.

The platform, as yet unnamed, will enable merchants from all four Changi Airport terminals to accept transactions from various QR payment apps; this includes SGQR-compliant apps such as GrabPay and Singtel Dash, PayNow QR bank apps, international payment apps such as WeChat Pay and Alipay, and cross-border QR payment networks such as VIA Alliance.

Liquid Group is more known for its mobile payment app Liquid Pay.

Jeremy Tan, the group's chief executive and founder, told The Business Times that as more mobile-payment services spring up, the firm sees an opportunity in being a consolidator of these apps for merchants and partners.

"We are of the belief that there will be more payment apps, and the next wave is primarily driven by banks... The key thing is to keep it coherent. So from a merchant's perspective, you just sign a contract with one player, and you're done," he said.

Liquid also has its sights set on being a cross-border platform, as it eyes apps with a large presence in markets outside Singapore.

This means that travellers will be able to pay using their preferred app as long as it is integrated into Liquid's platform, regardless of the app's level of adoption by Singapore consumers.

Mr Tan said that operators of mobile payment apps looking to expand will find it much easier to join Liquid's platform so that the apps can used here and in other markets where Liquid is in, as opposed to the operators sending teams here to acquire merchants one by one, which is now the standard operating procedure.

Liquid's sharpened business strategy points to why it chose to partner an airport group with a high volume of travellers.

The roll-out of the integrated payment platform in Changi Airport will happen in phases, with the first slated to start in the first half of this year.

Besides being a unified payments system, the platform automatically applies promotions and discounts that a customer is entitled to at the point of transaction. This means merchants will be able to launch multiple tailored marketing campaigns with participating mobile apps, without needing to manually keep track of the various promotion offerings.

Teo Chew Hoon, group senior vice-president at the Changi Airport Group, said in a statement: "With the rise in QR payments, launching Liquid Group's unified QR payment platform not only provides a frictionless payment experience, it will also provide more partnership opportunities with local and overseas e-wallet issuers.

"The unified QR payment platform will also improve our tenants' productivity in staff training, reporting and settlement for QR payments."