Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial Holdings announced Monday the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Standard Chartered Bank.
“Under the terms of the MOU, Standard Chartered Bank will combine its banking expertise and insights in emerging markets with Ant Financial’s industry leading financial tech capabilities, to increase access to financial services for clients based in countries along the “Belt & Road Initiative” route,” according to an official statement.
The partnership marked another milestone in Ant Financial’s globalization drive. The firm’s leading third-party payment and lifestyle platform, Alipay, has more than 520 million active users, working with over 450 financial institutions and providing in-store payment services for Chinese tourists in more than 30 countries and regions.
Through decade-long development, Ant Financial empowers its strategic partners in emerging markets, including India, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea and Malaysia, to provide inclusive financial services, such as e-wallet solutions for local populations.
After establishing a foothold in Asian markets, the new partnership would accelerate the group’s efforts in penetrating more markets around the world, which is in line with the government’s Belt & Road plan. The MOU was signed following the 9th UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue, which was held from December 15 to 16 in Beijing, China.
“We are excited about the opportunity to further collaborate with Standard Chartered Bank,” said Eric Jing, Chief Executive Officer, Ant Financial Services Group. “With the mission to ‘bring the world equal opportunities’, Ant Financial is dedicated to using technology to make financial services more inclusive on a global scale. This MOU with SCB is an important milestone in our efforts to enable our partners to better service their clients around the world.”
Standard Chartered Bank has been working together with Ant Financial since 2012, in areas including funding settlement, FX services and Alipay wallet related solutions. Their tie-up has helped Alipay to extended its service to Hong Kong early this year.