Malaysia’s largest airline is no stranger to financial services, having forayed into fintech in 2018 as part of its diversification strategy. It is now flexing its fintech muscles again with a new (Islamic) financial marketplace on its super app.
AirAsia’s new fintech service is called airasia money, launched in partnership with financial marketplace RinggitPlus, which earlier this month unveiled its digital financial advisory platform, targeting both Muslims and non-Muslims. The new service is integrated within the airasia super app, an iteration of its digital airline app which was overhauled into a lifestyle platform last year.
More than just an airline
The transformation of its app, and the airline, came amid an incredibly challenging time for AirAsia. It has been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic which brought the travel industry to a screeching halt. In response, Founder and Group CEO Tony Fernandes ramped up the company’s diversification plan, even launching food delivery services.
Fernandes, often touted as the Richard Branson of Asia, envisions AirAsia’s super app to support a host of lifestyle services including ride-hailing grocery delivery air taxis and drone delivery services, as AirAsia pivots to become more than just an airline.
“We entered the fintech industry in 2018 with BigPay, and the aim is to continue innovating and staying relevant in the market and now, introducing airasia money, whose financial marketplace will be the aggregator that will help our customers toward financial freedom,” Fernandes said. “The financial marketplace, nested within our super app, will be the one-stop financial center for all our customers’ needs, starting with Malaysia and followed by other ASEAN countries, including Indonesia (Q2 2021), the Philippines (Q3 2021) and Thailand (Q4 2021).”
The marketplace now offers credit card and personal financing. In the pipeline are comparison services of financial products including insurance, investments, payment, Shariah compliant products and services as well as promoting financial awareness and education.
“airasia money is responsible for payments innovation and technology for AirAsia Group, driving a seamless user experience and making online payments invisible. These capabilities underpin the core capabilities of our digital solutions and offerings,” explained Mohamad Hafidz Mohd Fadzil, the head of airasia money. “Financial Marketplace is our new consumer fintech offering within our airasia super app that gives our banked and underbanked customers a comparison of bite-sized financial solutions.”
As one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the region who has been credited with changing the landscape of air travel in Asia, Fernandes remains bold in his vision.
“airasia money serves as an aggregator, bringing the best-matched options for our customers’ needs and helping them finance or achieve them. We look forward to playing a key role in driving financial inclusion in ASEAN and supporting millions of customers across the region,” Fernandes shared.