Soft space enters into strategic partnership with JCB
Fintech player, Soft Space, has announced a new strategic partnership with Japan's only international payment brand, JCB.
This strategic partnership is the first of its kind in Malaysia for the payment giant and involves a combination of US$5 million investment in Soft Space and a series of business collaborations that are aimed at capitalising on Soft Space's fintech-as-a-service business model, technology and regulatory knowhow, and JCB's global recognition, vast alliances and brand reach.
This is part of the first tranche of funding on the horizon for Soft Space with other investments to follow in the future. The partnership also demonstrates the confidence JCB has in Soft Space's management, technology portfolio and execution strategy in today's highly competitive fintech industry. JCB owns and operates one of the largest payment schemes in Japan supporting about 37 million merchants and 140 million cardmembers around the world, by capitalising on Asia's economic growth. Backed by these assets, JCB has a vision to become "Asia's leading payment brand" and will expand the brand globally by leveraging its strength in Asia - especially in Southeast Asia ("SEA") - to become a competitive brand preferred by Japanese and international cardmembers.
To this end, JCB has targeted SEA as a strategic business enhancement region and has established its ASEAN Business Enhancement and Creation Department in Singapore last June to seek business opportunities within the region. This will serve as a template for further strategic alliances and investments within the region. The strategic partnership with Soft Space also aims to harness synergies between the two parties and includes the expansion of JCB's merchant network, the establishment of card issuing solutions, and the provision of customer marketing solutions.
Other collaborative areas include, but not limited to, enhanced merchant acceptance, mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and transit; payment gateways; cards-as-a-service (CaaS); white label services, API platform services and technical support services. Both Soft Space and JCB are committed to accelerating cashless payment both in Malaysia and SEA by utilising competitive and advanced fintech technologies, thereby establishing a link between Japanese consumers to SEA. "I am honoured to announce this investment and collaboration agreement. I believe this is not just an investment, but the first step towards realising the boundless possibility with Soft Space," said Yoshiki Kaneko, President & COO of JCB International. "We are capitalising on this opportunity to expand and secure our business in SEA by utilising Soft Space's cutting-edge technology and robust network with the financial institutions. We are confident that this collaboration will go beyond Malaysia and expand across the globe."
"We are humbled by this investment by JCB," said Joel Tay, Chief Executive Officer of Soft Space. "Being JCB's first investee in Malaysia assures us that we are on track to develop financial solutions that will fortify payment acceptance between Japan and SEA, and benefit both regions when borders open up again. This bridge between our regions will also serve as a roadmap for us to enter other regions globally in the future."
Today, Soft Space has an expansive range of product offerings that span white-label e-wallet solutions to its flagship Tap to Phone technology, which is the world's first SoftPOS solution to support secure PIN entry. The solution has received endorsements from major card schemes such as Visa, UnionPay International, Mastercard and Malaysia's MyDebit, and has been deployed in some of the largest financial service institutions and corporate enterprises in the Middle East, North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.