Alibaba Group finance affiliate Ant Financial has teamed up with Indonesian media company Elang Mahkota Teknologi (Emtek) to provide mobile payment services to Indonesia. According to Reuters, the companies started negotiations regarding the project last month.
The agreement comes as part of Ant Financial’s strategy to expand its services outside China, as it aims at reducing its reliance on the market. It is the company’s fifth international payments partnership over the last few months. Ant Financial has already secured deals with Philippines-based fintech firm Mynt and Thailand’s payment company Ascend Money. In February, Ant Financial invested $200 million in South Korean mobile payments solution Kakao Pay. Besides, it is planning more partnerships in Asia this year.
Under the project, the companies will form a joint venture firm to develop a mobile payment platform for BlackBerry’s BBM messaging app, which is operated by Emtek’s subsidiary. Currently, the app serves more than 63 million users in Indonesia, which is the third biggest country by population in Asia. Following the launch via the BBM app, the payment platform will be extended to other chat and ecommerce services.
“Ant Financial has proven know-how in delivering payment and other financial solutions to a large and growing mobile audience in China … and we are looking forward to replicating and creating this success in Indonesia,” said Emtek CEO, Alvin Sariaatmadja.
Douglas Feagin, international president at Ant Financial, stated: “This strategic partnership underlines our commitment to serve the unbanked and underbanked around the world and to improve their lives by bringing them inclusive financial services. We are achieving this by working with partners who share our vision.”
Ant Financial did not provide any details on when the joint venture will be established.
Alipay payment platform, operated by Ant Financial, is used by over 450 million people, who are mostly from China. Besides, it is the most popular digital wallet in the country. Ant Financial also owns an internet banking licence and provides other services, such as mutual funds, loans, wealth management, and insurance products.
Emtek signed a strategic agreement with BlackBerry last year and will help Ant Financial to launch payment products anchored in the BlackBerry messaging system and payment services for e-commerce merchants in Indonesia.
The announcement comes at a time when Ant Financial is planning to expand its blockchain charity service called Ant Love. The platform uses the distributed ledger technology to help organizations track donor history, charity disclosures, as well as other data related to the project. The company is reportedly planning to attract more companies to the initiative this month, such as charities and donor organizations.