Standard Chartered Bank and Ant Financial Services Group announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding Monday to increase access to financial services for clients based in economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative.
Under the terms of the MoU Standard Chartered, an international banking group with a strong presence in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, will combine its banking expertise in emerging markets with the industry leading financial technology capabilities of Ant Financial, a digital financial service provider based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
José Viñals, chairman of Standard Chartered, said: "Built on our joint commitment to inclusive financial services, and with a combination of cutting-edge technology and banking expertise, we aspire to explore and broaden access to inclusive financial services along the Belt and Road route."
With around 1,000 branches and outlets in 65 countries and regions related to the Belt and Road Initiative, Standard Chartered, a financial service leader in the sectors of renminbi, small and medium enterprises, and retail banking, has been supporting Chinese companies to expand their operations globally with innovative financial products and services.
The bank has been working with Ant Financial since 2012, on funding settlement, foreign exchange services and Alipay wallet-related solutions.
"This MoU with SCB is an important milestone in our efforts to enable partners to better service their clients around the world," said Eric Jing, chief executive officer of Ant Financial.
Leveraging its technological know-how and experience building a payment solution from scratch, Ant Financial empowers its strategic partners in emerging markets, including India, Thailand and Malaysia, to provide inclusive financial services, such as e-wallet solutions, for local populations, he said.