Thai mobile phone operator AIS invests $25m in Rabbit-LINE Pay

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Thailand’s largest mobile phone operator, Advanced Info Service (AIS), is investing Bt787 million ($25 million) in e-money provider Rabbit-Line Pay for a 33.33-per cent stake.

In a stock exchange filing to the SET, AIS said, it entered into a joint-venture agreement with Rabbit-LINE Pay through a subscription of the latter’s newly issued ordinary shares.

The investment by AIS is carried out through mPAY, an AIS subsidiary, which, like Rabbit Line Pay, is into the e-payment service business.

Rabbit-Line Pay was initially a function embedded in the Line application, and other online businesses operated by Rabbit Internet such as online financial products comparison feature. It is a joint venture between Line Thailand and Rabbit Pay System, which itself is a joint venture between Thai listed BTS Group Holdings and Logistics (Thailand) Ltd.

After the deal, Advanced mPAY; Line Pay Corporation and Line Company (Thailand) Co Ltd; and Rabbit Pay System Co will each own 33.33% of the company.

Founded by ex-Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 1986, AIS is Thailand’s largest GSM mobile phone operator with about 40 million mobile phone subscribers.

Despite reporting a near 2 per cent drop in annual net profit last month due to falling voice revenues, the company announced its goal to become the digital platform for Thais through the launching of three platforms: VDO Platform “Play 365”, VR Content Platform, and the AIS IoT Alliance Programme (AIAP).

It is understood that the joint venture will allow users of AIS and Rabbit-LINE Pay to make payments through multiple channels such as MyAIS app, Line Pay, and AIS Line official account. They can also pay bills, buy goods online, order food, parcel delivery and taxi service through Line.

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