China’s $7.6 Trillion Online Payments Market Is No Longer Enough For Jack Ma’s Ant Financial

Ant Financial is poised for a big decade ahead. The company has built the largest payment network in the world, along with Tencent dominates both online and offline payments in China, and as of last November is now going after international users. As the company prepares to go public, they are looking at an expanded set of customers: financial institutions.

Ant’s president of advanced technology business group, Geoff Jiang, told FORBES ASIA in an interview that the operator of the popular Alipay e-wallet wants to offer Chinese banks a wide range of technology products and services. Although the company spent years competing with them in payments and wealth management, it now plans to sell in-house expertise to the same banks and help them digitalize their operations with tools such as cloud computing and data analytics...a partnership could involve the banks using Ant’s data technology to process loans, design tailored products or combine diverse sets of data to assess risks and creditworthiness. 

With 200 banking customers already and aiming for 1,000 by end of year, it's not hard to see Ant continuing on its rocketship trajectory. Their long term goal is to be behind every transaction in the world. Ambitious, but they have the pieces to do it. I believe Ant will ultimately be a more valuable company that its e-commerce parent Alibaba, it's a matter of when, not if.


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