Fintech unit of AirAsia gets $100 mln from SK Group

South Korea-based SK Group has announced an investment of up to US$100 million in BigPay, the fintech unit of AirAsia Group Bhd. This is according to an announcement made by the Malaysian budget carrier on Friday.

BigPay operates as a unit of AirAsia’s digital operations. The fintech provides a prepaid debit card, facilitates local and international remittances, micro-insurance, payment of bills and utilities, and also has a budgeting tool.

“Our ambition has always been to establish BigPay as one of the largest challenger banks in Southeast Asia. Closing this financing round gives us the ability to build out our offerings, accelerate product development and scale,” said Salim Dhanani, the firm’s CEO. 

The CEO also said that BigPay is putting plans in plans to commence operation in Thailand and other parts of the region, citing personal loans and short-term lending as its prime offering for that expansion.

BigPay has also filed a digital banking license application in Malaysia as part of a consortium with Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad and private equity firm Ikhlas Capital.

SK Group plans to “make a significant contribution to BigPay in both technical and consumer service aspects,” according to a release by the firm.

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