Ant Financial sees rich opportunities

Updated 2017-04-19 09:31:01 China Daily
Tim Clancy, from Australia, pays a bill with his smartphone at a restaurant in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Friday. (Photo provided to China Daily)

Tim Clancy, from Australia, pays a bill with his smartphone at a restaurant in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Friday. (Photo provided to China Daily)

Ant Financial Services Group said on Monday it will extend its indigenous mobile payment technologies to economies along the Belt and Road Initiative and unveil a number of Alipay-like services this year.

The plan marks the company's accelerated pace in expanding globally, adding to the existing five Asian markets where the financial technology powerhouse has announced investment plans since 2015.

"Technology exports will effectively save five to eight years' time of our local partners in developing new technologies and conducting feasibility tests," said Jia Hang, senior director of international business at Ant Financial.

The firm is counting on partners outside China to bring its model of online finance and local services to emerging Asian markets, where a substantial number of the population have no access to banking services and are underserved by traditional financial institutions.

Through strategic investments, the company can tap into the vast resources of one of the world's most populous regions, Jia noted.

For instance, its investment in Thailand's Ascend Money, an arm of the agricultural-to-telecom conglomerate, can give them access to local users and merchants.

In its latest overseas move, Ant Financial linked up this month with Indonesia's second-largest media firm Emtek to form a payment platform within BlackBerry's messaging service, which covers 63 million users in the country.

The company hopes to serve 2 billion users globally within a decade. To achieve that goal, it provides a familiar payment option to Chinese outbound travelers and help foreign partners build technical infrastructure and solutions for local purposes.

"In developed countries, we prioritize cross-border settlements for international merchants because of their unmet needs to sell to more customers. In developing areas we target underserved individuals," Jia said.

Ant Financial's effort represents a genuine breakthrough in business know-how and putting the ideal of inclusive finance into practice, said Xu Yuan, a professor at the National School of Development at Peking University.

The overseas expansion is creating synergies for its parent Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, whose e-commerce business, logistics networks and cloud computing services are all making inroads in Southeast Asia.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58August 17 2017 09:59:42

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16August 17 2017 09:59:42

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18August 17 2017 09:59:42

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords