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Thailand's Ascend Money eyes remittance business out of Singapore

THAI e-payments company Ascend Money, which is 20 per cent owned by Alibaba's Ant Financial, is eying an international remittance business in Singapore and may launch it as early as next year, its chief executive Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa said on Wednesday.

"(Singapore) has an interesting pain point here," Mr Vichitkulwongsa told reporters at a media briefing, noting that while Singapore has ample access to banking services, remittance charges for foreign workers can still be high.

"Lucky Plaza still charges quite a bit," he said, referring to the shopping mall on Orchard Road where many foreign workers go to send money home.

Ascend Money is mainly targeting the un-banked in South-east Asia, and aims to serve 100 million under-served consumers in the region by 2020.

"We would love to be a pan-Asian financial provider," said Mr Vichitkulwongsa, whose company was spun off from Thai conglomerate CP Group three years ago.

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