Nium buys Singaporean alternative payments network platform

Nium SoCash

Singapore-based payments platform provider, Nium, has acquired SoCash, a fellow Singaporean alternative payments network platform that offers a digital platform enabling cash circulation without the need for ATMs, cash logistics, and branches.

SoCash’s platform brings together financial institutions and digital commerce merchants with cash from more than 30,000 shops, cafes and grocery stores, making it possible to withdraw money “anywhere, anytime”.

The acquisition is expected to help Nium, whose focus is on the provision of global payments and card issuances solutions to banks, payment providers and businesses, access technologies that enable multiple forms of local payment acceptance for digital commerce.

This is particularly the case in the emerging markets across the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions where cash is still a preferred method of payment.

Additionally, the cash acceptance for online transactions is still a popular use case, especially for 1.7 billion people who, according to the World Bank’s estimates, remained unbanked.

Nium will also aim to create, through this acquisition, a more inclusive financial system by “bridging the physical and digital world” by enabling cash for online transactions.

Both companies also hoped to become the platform-of-choice for global merchants with capabilities for local acceptance, multicurrency accounts, foreign exchange and global payouts.

“The SoCash team has built an impressive platform that bridges payments in the digital space with payouts in the physical world,” said Pratik Gandhi, co-founder and COO of Nium.

“When compared to current in-app payment costs, we estimate SoCash saves up to 30 per cent in commissions paid.

“With this acquisition, Nium can offer a lower-cost payment processing alternative for digital merchants, spanning local payment acceptance through to global payouts.”

Separately, Nium also announced an expansion of its real-time payments to Malaysia and announced broader local licence capabilities, which would allow the company to on-board licensed financial institutions and other payment service providers (PSPs) for payouts, while offering higher outbound transaction limits.

With the addition of Malaysia, Nium said it would be now processing more than 75 per cent of all its global transactions in real-time and would increase its total real-time payment markets to a market-leading 100 countries.

GlobalData forecast the Malaysian market of real-time transactions to grow to 3.6 billion in 2026 from 1.1 billion in 2021, which accounted for an estimated US$434 million in cost savings.