Ant Group buys Singapore’s 2C2P to pursue global payments ambitions – TechCrunch
Quietly, Alibaba’s fintech subsidiary Ant Group has built a global network of cross-border payments by partnering with or investing in third-party e-wallets, banks, money transfer services and other industry players. ecosystem.
The latest addition to Ant’s alliance is 2C2P, a Singapore-based company that helps Southeast Asian businesses move money across borders. According to an announcement on Monday, Ant will form a strategic partnership with 2C2P and become its largest shareholder, although the figure for the acquisition was not disclosed. With this agreement, the Singaporean company’s merchant network will be connected to Alipay+, Ant’s cross-border payments platform.
“Through this complementary partnership with Ant Group, 2C2P will be connected to a much broader merchant base and will be well positioned to drive forward our international expansion strategy,” said Aung Kyaw Moe, Founder and CEO of 2C2P, in a statement. statement, adding that the partnership will help expand the company’s “current 250 payment options” to include more e-wallets and payment methods.
Rather than building its own country-specific wallet from scratch and acquiring the necessary regulatory clearances to operate such services, Ant chose the partnership route. It launched Alipay+ in 2020 and has so far partnered with a host of third-party payment methods including banks and also e-wallets like Touch ‘n Go in Malaysia, GCash in the Philippines, KakaoPay in Korea Sud, TrueMoney in Thailand, Dana in Indonesia, bKash in Bangladesh and Klarna in Europe.
Alipay+ comes in handy when a user traveling, working or studying abroad wants to pay a local merchant, whether online or offline, in their home country’s currency. If the retailer supports an e-wallet that works with Alipay+, the user can pay using Alipay+’s partner wallet for the transaction, avoiding the hassle of exchanging currency at a bank.
Alipay+ also comes with a suite of marketing tools that allow merchants to offer offers and discounts for customer engagement, a proven business model in China’s mobile payments market first over years.
The fintech giant has long had globalization goals and started years ago by targeting outbound Chinese tourists. While Alipay is focused on Chinese consumers and merchants, its sister Alipay+ seems to be Ant’s ambition to tackle users outside of China who have similar cross-border payment needs.
Ant’s plans to pursue an initial public offering were scrapped in November 2020 after the Chinese government ordered a regulatory overhaul of its financial practices, which subsequently made some of its China-based businesses less lucrative. Accelerating overseas expansion could be a way for the giant to sustain growth.
Ant says Alipay+ has served over 1 billion users in Asia and 1 million offline merchants in Europe and Asia. Online, he connected payment providers to customers on platforms like Apple, Foodpanda, Google and TikTok.