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Ant International focuses on SMEs to fuel growth
Fintech to expand partnerships on cross-border digital payment, commerce and financial services
The Asset 15 Nov 2023

Ant International, the international business division of Alibaba Group Holding’s financial technology affiliate Ant Group, has unveiled its strategy to expand its global digital payment and digital commerce business.

The Singapore-headquartered company says it will accelerate growth and expand partnerships across cross-border mobile payment, merchant payment, digital payment and financial services, and digital banking services, with a focus on helping small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) expand their businesses in Asia and beyond.

Speaking at the company’s flagship Voyage Conference, Ant International president Yang Peng says: “Despite the uncertainties in the global economy, trends like evolving financial infrastructure, accelerating digitalization and swift advances on the tech frontier present unprecedented opportunities for merchants all around the world seeking to achieve new growth, especially for small businesses who aspire to overcome the digital divide.”

Peng says the Alipay+ cross-border mobile payment service now connects over 88 million merchants to 1.5 billion consumer accounts on over 25 e-wallets and banking apps in 57 countries and regions, allowing consumers to travel and pay worry-free across borders, and merchants to build out cross-border consumer engagement and digital marketing.

The service builds on extensive regional partnerships, including those with national QR schemes such as Singapore’s SGQR, Malaysia’s PayNet, South Korea’s ZeroPay, and Sri Lanka's LankaPay.

Ant International is also ramping up its Antom merchant payment services to help merchants in collecting payments and growing revenues.

The WorldFirst digital payment and financial services for cross-border trade, meanwhile, has served over a million SMEs by connecting them to over 120 global marketplaces and conducting secure and fast payment transactions in over 40 currencies. Building on its success in China and Singapore, WorldFirst is expanding its SME e-commerce digital finance solutions across Southeast Asia.

ANEXT Bank, its digital wholesale bank regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, focuses on helping SMEs achieve their cross-border ambitions. The bank now counts 68% of its customers as micro enterprises. It has also seen an average of 40% month-on-month increase in cross-border transactions.

Ant International says it will continue to invest in cutting-edge digital technology, such as wallet, payment, credit and risk solutions. “Travel, trade, technology and talent are the cornerstones of global inclusion and prosperity. We will accelerate innovations in digital payment and digital commerce to link up these areas of global collaboration,” Peng adds.

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