Standard Chartered Bank, an international banking group with a strong presence in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and Ant Financial Services Group, a digital financial services provider, today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
Under the terms of the MOU, Standard Chartered Bank will combine its banking expertise and insights in emerging markets with Ant Financial’s fin-tech capabilities, to increase access to financial services for clients based in countries along the “Belt & Road Initiative” route.
Standard Chartered Bank has been operating for more than 150 years in some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, including many along the “Belt & Road Initiative” route. With around 1,000 branches and outlets in 65 countries and regions, 69 per cent of its global footprint overlaps with the “Belt & Road” countries. The bank is an industry leader in RMB, SME and retail financial services, and has been supporting Chinese companies to expand their operations globally with innovative financial products and services.
Ant Financial launched its globalization strategy in 2007. Today, its leading third-party payment and lifestyle platform, Alipay, has more than 520 million active users, working with more than 450 financial institutions and providing in-store payment services for Chinese tourists in more than 30 countries and regions. 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.
“The MOU marks a new era of the cooperation between the most dynamic tech-fin company and the most active international bank in emerging markets,” Standard Charter chairman José Viñals said.
“Built on our joint commitment to inclusive financial services, and with the combination of cutting-edge technology and banking expertise, we aspire to explore and make due contributions to broaden access to inclusive financial services along the Belt & Road route.”
“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,” Ant CEO Eric Jing said. “This MOU with SCB is an important milestone in our efforts to enable our partners to better serve 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.
The MOU was signed following the 9th UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue, which was held from December 15-16 in Beijing, China.