Tony Fernandes looks to replicate success of Air Asia in financial services space

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Updated: March 22, 2019 7:11:41 AM

BigPay has already got 3 lakh users on the platform and has become the fifth largest app in Malaysia in the first year of operation.

BigPay is our version of a challenger bank,” Fernandes said at the Money20/20 Asia event in Singapore.

Seventeen years ago, Tony Fernandes started AirAsia and disrupted the legacy airline business in Asia with its new low-cost carrier business model.

He is now looking at replicating the success of AirAsia by getting into the financial services space to challenge traditional banks. He has started with a foray into the payments space with his new venture, BigPay, with ambitions of making it a digital bank that will pay, lend and remit. Fernandes want to change the financial services business and make it more inclusive.

“We carry hundred million people and are more than just an airline. AirAsia is a powerful, data-rich digital platform.

BigPay is our version of a challenger bank,” Fernandes said at the Money20/20 Asia event in Singapore.

The similarity in the two businesses are uncanny, says Fernandes.

He is banking on the huge volume of customers and lot of data already residing in AirAsia. BigPay has already got three lakh users on the platform and has become the fifth largest app in Malaysia in the first year of operation. He is confident of reaching 40 million customers on the platform.

After payments, BigPay plans to get into the lending as well as remittances space, he said. They will look at unbundling banking with BigPay and operate in the Asean markets.

After Malaysia, BigPay will plans to enter Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and grow in the Asean markets.

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