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S'pore payment vendor extends network services

AXS upgrades infrastructure and launches pilot rollout of new equipment in bid to widen its payment ecosystem of financial partners and e-services.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Local payment vendor AXS Infocomm has enhanced its infrastructure in a bid to potentially introduce more e-services and rope in new financial institutions to its partner ecosystem.

AXS CEO Joey Chang said in a press briefing Tuesday the company updated its payment platform to facilitate direct connections to partners such as banks and financial institutions, to enable payment via credit and ATM cards. AXS is a subsidiary of DBS Bank.

There are currently some 530 AXS machines located across Singapore, enabling users to pay via local electronic payment operator, Network for Electronic Transfers of Singapore (Nets). A platform connecting AXS to banks to facilitate ATM debit payments, Nets presently supports payments via DBS, OCBC, UOB and Standard Chartered. So, local customers of banks such as Maybank and Citibank, will not be able make payment via AXS kiosks.

The new platform, called D-Pay, effectively removes Nets as the middleman and allows AXS to directly connect to banks, enabling customers of participating banks to make payment via the kiosks.

D-Pay is currently supported by DBS and DBS-owned POSB, so only customers from the two banks can access new services under the new platform.

However, Chang said AXS is aiming to connect customers of other banks.

According to the company, Citibank, HSBC, Maybank and Standard Chartered have indicated "interest", though none of these financial institutions have yet to sign on the dotted line. Representatives from the banks declined to comment when ZDNet Asia approached them at the press briefing. ="">The infrastructure upgrade involved both backend and frontend deployments. The modified AXS machines have switched from PSTN (public switched telephone network) lines and will relay payment transactions--between AXS' data center and the banks--over an IP-based dedicated leased line. Transactions over IP are touted to be faster than those transmitted over PSTN.

AXS' CTO and co-founder Eugene Chan, told ZDNet Asia that data center equipment such as servers and security modules, were upgraded to support the new platform and functionalities.

Chan said connecting the AXS machines directly to the banks poses no additional security threats to the financial institutions, as these entry points are "no different" to EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) connections commonly found in retail outlets.

According to AXS, 46.3 percent of transactions performed on its machines are with financial institutions. Its kiosks have handled over 64 million transactions worth more than S$11 billion (US$7.79 billion) since 2001.

DBS owns a third stake in Nets.

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