Singtel sells off payment card compliance business

Parked under its cybersecurity brand Trustwave, the Singapore telco's SecureTrust business has been divested in a $80 million deal as part of a strategic review to "optimise" the group's resource allocation and growth focus.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Singtel has sold off its payment card compliance business Trustwave in a deal worth $80 million, as part of efforts to "optimise" the group's resource allocation and growth focus. The move is part of the Singapore telco's strategic review of its digital businesses that kicked off in May this year.

Parked under its cybersecurity brand Trustwave, SecureTrust was sold off to Sysnet Global Solutions for a cash consideration of $80 million, Singtel said in a statement Monday. 

It added that some Trustwave assets deemed "complementary" to the telco's telecommunications and systems integration business in Asia-Pacific would be transferred to Singtel as well as its subsidiaries NCS and Optus. This integration would allow for "closer alignment" with the respective business unit's core products and services and enable each to focus on core competencies, Singtel said. 

The SecureTrust sale would put Singtel's cybersecurity revenue in the region at SG$350 million ($259.57 million), the telco said.

Singtel Group CEO Yuen Kuan Moon said: "This divestment is the first step following an extensive review of the Trustwave business and serves to sharpen its focus and reposition it for growth. With enterprises pivoting fast to hybrid, multi-cloud environments, the cyber threat landscape has changed considerably and the need for a focused set of services centred on managed threat detection and response has grown."

Trustwave would focus its core offerings on managed detection and response, managed security services, and consulting services, Yuen added.

Singtel's systems integration business NCS in July announced a "strategic reset" to pivot from a traditional ICT company primarily based in Singapore, to become a pan-Asia digital and technology services player. With expansion plans targeted for Australia and Greater China, NCS said it planned to add 2,000 new roles over two years and had earmarked earmarked six key sectors to drive its growth into the enterprise space, including healthcare and financial services.

Singtel, alongside joint bidder, Grab secured one of four digital bank licences in Singapore last December. In their pitch for the licence, the two partners said they would look to target "digital-first" consumers and small and midsize businesses, offering products and services to address the "unmet and underserved" of these market segments. Grab owns a 60% stake in the partnership. 

Digital bank licensees were expected to begin operations in the country from early-2022. 


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