Mint Payments managing director Alex Teoh says it is looking to crack the Malaysian and Hong Kong markets after Singapore.

Mint Payments managing director Alex Teoh says it is looking to crack the Malaysian and Hong Kong markets after Singapore.

Mint Payments managing director Alex Teoh says a deal with Singapore’s debit card network to roll out the company’s mobile payment terminals is a “landmark deal” that should boost its chances of expanding into other Asian countries.

Mr Teoh said it was one of the biggest deals for the mobile payments company, equivalent to its contract with Bank of New Zealand signed in 2013.

“It is a great segue into how we want to expand in Asia because Asia is looking at what we have done in Australia with envy,” he said.

Under the five-year deal, Singapore’s Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS), which is owned by Singapore’s biggest banks, DBS Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and United Overseas Bank, gets a licence to distribute Mint’s mobile payment terminals under the NETS brand and will be the “acquirer” or processor for Mint in Singapore.

The contract with NETS will also allow Mint to sell its terminals and online payments gateway to all financial institutions and merchants in Singapore. 

The next Asian markets Mint is looking to crack are Malaysia and Hong Kong, and is working on deals in those countries now.

“We are very focused on the more-developed markets in Asia. We are having multiple conversations with potential partners in Hong Kong and Malaysia,” he said.

News of the deal had leaked by last Wednesday and Mint shares jumped almost 20 per cent to 11¢ before the ASX queried the sudden price rise and the stock was put into a trading halt from Thursday until Tuesday morning. The stock rose a further 11.5¢ on Tuesday before falling back a similar amount on Wednesday.

Last month, Mint announced its first deal in Asia with Asian Business Software Solutions, the Asian arm of MYOB. It signed a three-year deal to distribute Mint online invoice payments with ABSS software.

First listed in 2007, Mint’s share price skyrocketed from just 2¢ to more than 40¢ in late 2013 when it announced its first big contracts with accounting software company MYOB and Bank of New Zealand.

During the following six months, however, it lost almost all the gains when there were no further deals forthcoming, and was queried by the ASX when its stock price halved to 7.9¢ in the two weeks to October 16, 2014.

After a trading halt, the company announced its CEO of six months, Robin Khuda, had been sacked and executive chairman Alex  Teoh became CEO again. Mr Khuda accused the founders, Alex and Andrew Teoh, of poor corporate governance.

Mint Payments has never made a profit since listing. Its net loss for 2015 was $7.2 million, up from $6.3 million in 2014. Its executives and directors received income of $1.86 million, up from $1.68 million in 2014.

NETS, established in 1985, is the biggest card payments network. It processed about $S23 billion ($22.6 billion) in transactions in 2015. 

It is similar to Australia’s EFTPOS, but it also sells and leases payments terminals, which is  done by primarily the major banks in Australia, has an online debit card system and also processes credit card transactions.