- Ant Financial – the Alibaba affiliate that owns Alipay – is partnering with CIMB, Malaysia’s second largest bank, to provide ewallet and other online payments services in the country. A collaboration along these lines was first touted earlier in the year.
- To put the partnership into effect, CIMB subsidiary Touch n’ Go will from a joint venture with Ant Financial, with the former as majority shareholder.
Why it matters:
- For the most part, Alipay’s expansion outside of China has initially been focused on tapping Chinese tourists traveling abroad. Alipay is already an accepted medium of payment in a few Malaysian stores, including in 7-Eleven outlets.
- This collaboration seems to be targeting Malaysian consumers. There are already around 17 million Touch n’ Go cards issued in the country, meaning that the joint venture’s ewallet service has the potential to scale up quickly.
- Ant’s partnership with CIMB appears to mirror previous deals it has done to expand into new markets. Ant has typically worked with established local partners, investing modestly to take a minority stake. However, unlike earlier collaborations in India, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand, this appears to be the first time Ant has teamed up with a bank to deliver payments solutions.
Source: The Star.
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