BANGKOK -- JD.com has teamed up with major Thai retailer Central Group to start a digital wallet platform to promote cashless payments in the Southeast Asian country, the partners announced Tuesday.
Dolfin Wallet will go live in two to three months, upon approval by the Thai central bank. The platform, which settles payments by reading QR codes on smartphones and other devices, will be run by Central JD Money, a subsidiary of Central Group and the JD.com joint venture Central JD Fintech Holding.
JD.com, China's No. 2 e-retailer behind Alibaba Group Holding, is providing the basic system technology as it seeks to develop Southeast Asian markets. Central Group, for its part, wants to bolster digital operations by tapping the expertise of the Beijing-based group.
Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank will collaborate with Dolfin. The service will connect with PromptPay, the interbank mobile payment system rolled out by the Thai government. Dolfin users will be able to make payments at any of roughly 3 million domestic bank branches. The platform can be linked to credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts.
Before the end of the year, the service will introduce facial-recognition features that will authenticate users in lieu of a password. Users will need to register selfies or identification cards for this function.