Malaysian fintech-as-a-service company Soft Space has announced a strategic partnership with Japan’s international payment brand JCB Co.

As part of this, JCB has injected US$5 million into Soft Space. The collaboration will capitalise on the Kula Lumpur-headquartered firm’s business model, technology and regulatory know-how, and JCB’s global recognition, vast alliances and brand reach.

This is part of Soft Space’s first tranche of funding, with other investments to follow in the future.

JCB owns and operates one of the largest payment schemes in Japan, supporting about 37 million merchants and 140 million cardmembers worldwide. It will expand the brand globally by leveraging its strength in Asia, especially in Southeast Asia.

To this end, JCB has targeted SEA as a strategic business enhancement region. It established its ASEAN Business Enhancement and Creation Department in Singapore last June to seek business opportunities within the region.

The partnership 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 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.

Also Read: Square and Stripe investor Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co. invests in Malaysian fintech firm 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,” said Joel Tay, CEO of Soft Space.

Founded in 2012, Soft Space aims to simplify the complexity of financial infrastructure and create value-added features for businesses to expand their business growth. With over 30 financial institutions across ten countries adopting its payment solutions, Soft Space is supported by MDEC’s Global Acceleration and Innovation Network (GAIN) programme and received financial support through MIDA’s Domestic Investment Strategic Fund in 2012.

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