Nium, a Singapore-based platform for modern money movement, announced Tuesday a definitive agreement to acquire Socash, a Singapore-based alternative payments network platform.

Socash brings together financial institutions and digital commerce merchants into a thriving network that allows consumers to deposit, withdraw, and make payments with cash from more than 30,000 local shops, cafes, and grocery stores, Nium said in a statement.

According to Nium, the acquisition provides the firm with the team and technology to enable multiple forms of local payment acceptance for digital commerce, especially in emerging markets.

It opined that cash is still a preferred method of payment across the Asia Pacific and Latin American markets, and the acquisition of Socash allows Nium to accept cash for transactions online – bridging the physical and digital worlds.

Together, Nium and Socash become the full-stack, platform-of-choice for global merchants with capabilities for local acceptance, multicurrency accounts, foreign exchange, and global payouts, it added.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to customary regulatory closing conditions.

“The Socash team has built an impressive platform that bridges payments in the digital space with payouts in the physical world. When compared to current in-app payment costs, we estimate Socash saves up to 30 percent 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,” said Pratik Gandhi, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Nium.

According to the statement, alternative payment methods (APMs), including e-wallets, real-time bank transfers, and electronic cash have seen a surge in growth globally as an easier way to transact online.

Cited the World Bank, it said 45 percent of global consumers already use a mobile wallet, versus 18 percent of consumers who rely on credit cards for payments – online and offline.

Cash acceptance for online transactions, from bill payment to in-app purchases, is still a popular use case, especially for 1.7 billion people who the World Bank estimates remain unbanked.

This acquisition makes for a more inclusive financial system, where global consumers are given the power to pay as they choose, said Nium.

Nium provides banks, payment providers, and businesses of any size with access to global payment and card issuance solutions. Its modular platform powers frictionless commerce, helping businesses pay and get paid across the globe.

Once connected to the Nium platform, businesses are able to pay out in more than 100 currencies to over 190 countries – 85 of which in real time. Funds can be received in 27 markets, including Southeast Asia, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, India, and the United States.

Nium’s growing card issuance business is already available in 34 countries, including Europe (SEPA), the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore. Its license portfolio covers 11 of the world’s jurisdictions, enabling seamless global payments and rapid integration, regardless of geography.

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