Ant To Become A Payments Aggregator

Published on 17 Nov 2022


Ant Group has finally discovered a way to scale its solution for processing payments via QR codes after spending years attempting to duplicate the success of this technology in other countries. The financial firm connected with Alibaba has been discreetly forging agreements with local financial providers in Asia rather than going after end consumers. Consumers can now easily travel with their mobile wallets from their homes thanks to this company's creation of a network for electronic payments similar to Mastercard or Visa.

Angel Zhao, president of international operations at Ant Group, said on Thursday that Alipay+ has merged with 15 different payment methods, making it possible for its associated merchants to reach more than one billion customers. Alipay+ is the name Ant has given to its payment processing network to differentiate it from Alipay, the consumer-facing wallet that has proven very popular in China. This announcement was made during the Singapore Fintech Festival.

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The Rise of Alipay+

Alipay+ has been working hard to enrol merchants to generate a network effect. It assists over 2.5 million companies all around the globe at present. A traveller from the Philippines who is travelling in Japan, for example, may open up their GCash wallet and make a payment at a business that accepts Alipay+ by scanning a QR code. Additionally, they can show their wallet's QR code for the accountant to read. To the same effect, a tourist from Malaysia may use Touch 'n Go, while a visitor from South Korea can use Kakao Pay to pay for their purchases at the business. Alipay+ automatically calculated and converted the funds to the appropriate currency throughout this process.

According to a statement made by a spokesman for Ant to TechCrunch, Alipay+ levies enterprise software fees to fulfil its role as a supplier of solutions for cross-border transactions and merchant marketing.

Alipay+ Marketing Strategy

But how exactly would someone who uses GCash become aware of Alipay+ in the initial place? There is never a shortage of client acquisition strategies at China's internet titans, and one of them is subsidies. GCash customers may discover an addition to a list of merchant specials on the landing page of the GCash website, given that they pay using Alipay+. At the checkout, customers who pay with Alipay+ at the pop-up shop that Shein has opened in Manila get a discount equal to PHP 130, or $2. These benefits have also been included in other Alipay+ partnered wallets available around Asia.

Alipay+, on the other side, is appealing to retailers since it makes it possible for one billion customers to pay quickly at their locations. That may seem remarkable, but it's important to bear in mind that Alipay, which is, predictably, included in the Alipay+ alliance, already counted 700 million monthly users in 2020 because of the sheer mass of internet users in China. That's just Alipay.

Zhao emphasised at the event that Alipay+ is not attempting to be a super app, which is a sort of tiny app-powered ecosystem that WeChat and Alipay in China are excellent examples of. Instead, it acts as a network level for other wallets geared more toward individual consumers.

Plans To Go Worldwide

"Although many of you are aware of Alipay's success in China, I want to assure you that Alipay+ is not yet another SuperApp we are introducing internationally. Since it made its formal debut the previous year, we are off to a spectacular start. Alipay+ is a set of cross-border electronic payment and marketing solutions built on top of Alipay's technical prowess and know-how. These solutions connect online and offline global merchants with numerous e-wallets and payment strategies from various countries and regions. Additionally, Alipay+ assists merchants in engaging with mobile-savvy customers who use different payment methods.

Even while Ant has been investigating the possibility of development in other countries for years, the mission took on a new sense of urgency when Beijing demanded that it completely revamp its operations in China. As a result of the reorganisation, Ant is anticipated to function more similarly to a conventional financial holding firm and assume a greater share of the associated capital risks. 


Featured image: Antgroup


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