A major Chinese digital financial services Ant Financial Group is extending its services to other regional countries including Pakistan through a partnership with local mobile financial service providers.
The Ant Financial Group is a company behind the popular payment app Alipay and now it is embarked on a great journey toward its globalization goal of serving 2 billion users within 10 years. The company invested $184.5 million in the mobile payment services of Easypaisa by Telenor to help boost the country’s mobile payment and digital financial services.
Under the signed agreement between Telenor Group and Ant Financial Group, the investment by the Ant Financial will provide it 45 percent stake from the Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB). Easypaisa was Pakistan’s first mobile financial services platform which was launched in 2009, belonging to Telenor group.
Li Chao, a Fintech expert at Beijing-based consultancy iResearch said:
“As part of Ant Financial’s global strategy, we are keen to share our technology know-how with their regional partners. We are confident that we can bring highly secure and inclusive financial services to address the needs of local people and small business here. As China promotes the Belt and Road Initiative, there are certainly policy drivers at play.”
The Chinese company will bring the worldwide total of Ant-backed local mobile solutions to nine banks, most of which are based in Southeast Asia, from India’s Paytm to Telenor Microfinance Bank in Pakistan.
According to the World Bank, about 100 million Pakistanis are unbanked, accounting for 5 percent of the world’s total unbanked population. The cooperation of the Ant Financial and Telenor is expected to provide micro-finance and related financial services to the less privileged and unbanked segment of the Pakistani society.