Mercator Advisory Group recently published a report on Asian mobile payment apps and continues to monitor companies like Ant Financial and Tencent that offer Alipay and WeChat Pay respectively.  (The report can be found here.)  These companies continue to offer more services and features to both their payment apps and financial services.  Payments Week discusses that Ant Financial is now working with financial institutions in China.  They aren’t necessarily looking to provide their payment app services to financial institutions, but to help lead banks’ efforts to become more digital:

More recently we’ve seen Ant Financial get more personally involved in the banking sector, leading “digital transformation” efforts with Huaxia and China Everbright banks. Now, a third bank is added to the roster, as Ant Financial sent word our way about its new connection with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.

The partnership effort calls for Ant Financial to put its technological capability to work in several fields, including artificial intelligence (AI) efforts, biometric security, supply chain finance, and even risk management. Plus, Ant Financial will have a hand in further development efforts in fraud prevention in loans, marketing and transactions. The goal is ultimately to not only improve user experience, but also to offer greater security for those users and the bank. 

So now in addition to providing payment, investing, and other banking services to its customers directly, Ant Financial will also be a service provider to financial institutions which gives them some pretty interesting leverage and an opportunity to offer Ant Financial products to their bank customers’ customers.

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group