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  • Payment
  • Players’ Strategy
  • China

Financial Technologies: a New Brand for Ant Financial

After a $14 billion funding round, Alibaba’s financial arm introduced a new brand focusing on financial technologies. As part of their strategic shift announced in June, Ant Financial intends to include technological services for companies, with special focus on financial offers.

The new brand called Ant Financial Technology was introduced during their second edition of the Ant Technology Exploration Conference (ATEC) in Hangzhou. The point is to craft a comprehensive set of products and services for financial institutions, enabling them to rely on Ant Financial’s expertise in customer experience and costs optimisation.

Five product portfolios will be created: large-scale financial transaction technologies (including payments), financial security technologies (risk management and fraud prevention), financial intelligence technologies (making room for AI techs), next-generation interaction technologies (customer relation and new interfaces) and Blockchain applications. The group already attracted roughly 200 financial institutions (100 banks, 60 insurance companies and 40 asset management specialists).

Customer reports were also provided by some institutions (for instance, by Bank of Nanjing). This bank relied on two new products by Ant Financial to speed up their credit-granting processes. They claim they now can process up to one million files each day, with an average processing speed of less than one second.

Comments – A technological model taking shape

The Chinese e-commerce leader aims for worldwide expansion and has been investing in technological developments. This strategic choice seems to be successful: their m-payment service Alipay can process 256,000 transactions per second, and this expertise should also be made available through their offer for large-scale financial transactions. In line with their shift, they are making their technology available to third-party companies, as Amazon already did.

Ant Financial became a hegemonic player on the Chinese financial market. The local government is, however, trying to remedy this situation and actually control these new giants. This considered, Alibaba had no choice but to rethink their subsidiary’s model. This strategy does bring along new opportunities, including international expansion, and helps them address banking institutions from around the world.