Boku Launches M1ST, The World's Largest Mobile Payments Network, Connecting Southeast Asia Digital Consumers To Global Merchants

The world's largest mobile payments network

Boku Launches M1ST, The World's Largest Mobile Payments Network, Connecting Southeast Asia Digital Consumers To Global Merchants
Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

Boku Inc. (AIM: BOKU) today announced the launch of the M1ST (aka Mobile First), the world's largest mobile payments network. The M1ST Payments Network features an unrivaled 330+ mobile payment methods, including mobile wallets, direct carrier billing, and real-time payments schemes, reaching 5.7 billion mobile payment accounts in 90 countries - all through a single integration.

By 2022, the middle class in Southeast Asia is expected to wield over US$300 billion in disposable income. The region's middle class is expected to double to 51 percent in 2030 from 24 percent in 2020 - or from 135 million people to 334 million people. According to the World Bank, 45% of consumers globally use mobile wallets vs. just 18% that use credit cards for payments. Boku's 2021 Mobile Wallets Report showed that Southeast Asia will become the fastest growing mobile wallet region in the world: the number of mobile wallets in use by SEA consumers is projected to increase by nearly 25.5% to reach 439.7 million mobile wallets in use by the end of 2025.

"In a Confidence Index survey, 52 percent of the merchants in SEA experienced a high level of growth during H1 2021 and 70 percent of these merchants are expecting additional growth of more than 10 percent in Q3 2021. This shows that despite the challenging times, digital consumers continue to make purchases digitally. The launch of M1ST will not only allow SEA merchants and digital consumers to connect within the region but also to global markets seamlessly, with a payment method that is useful and convenient to them," said Loke Hwee Wong, Vice President and General Manager, APAC at Boku.

However, mobile payment acceptance for global merchants is highly complex, especially due to the extreme fragmentation of mobile payment methods. M1ST solves a number of these challenges so that merchants can easily accept mobile payments, globally, and at scale, including:

- Standardization - M1ST removes the complexity of disparate technical, legal and contractual considerations, simplifying 330+ payment methods into a single, scheme-like network.
- Digitally Native - M1ST enabled payments are built to support the 0-tap subscriptions and 1-tap checkout transactions that enable new, online business models.
- Future-Proofed - By 2025, nearly 60% of consumers globally are projected to be using mobile wallets; the M1ST Network follows market demand to maximize merchant acceptance.
- Global Settlement - M1ST delivers merchants a single, global settlement, eliminating the complexity of local taxes, foreign exchange, and cash repatriation.
- Local Legal Infrastructure - Through payment licenses and local entities, M1ST is capable of accepting regulated payments in nearly 50 countries.

M1ST is designed to eliminate the difficulty of mobile payment acceptance so that merchants can accept mobile payments more quickly, at a lower cost, and focus on building world-class user experiences that drive long-term, valuable relationships with their customers.

"We've seen a fundamental shift of consumer purchasing power from west to east, from established to emerging markets, and from credit cards to mobile payments. Today, we're launching the M1ST Network to enable global merchants to acquire, monetize, and retain mobile-first consumers," said Jon Prideaux, CEO of Boku. "For merchants to capitalize on the massive potential of mobile-first consumers, they need to accept the payment methods they have and prefer, which are increasingly behind glass screens, not rectangular pieces of plastic. We've spent the past decade delivering new customers to our merchants through mobile payments. Now that mobile payments have overtaken credit cards globally, merchant acceptance has moved from a competitive advantage to a strategic imperative."