Chinese payments conglomerate Alipay is ramping up its B2B services with a new suite of offerings for small businesses (SMBs).
Reports in Financial IT on Monday (Oct. 29) said Alipay is introducing a range of solutions for small businesses to support growth of China’s SMB community. They include business intelligence solutions like analysis and support for digitization, as well as supply chain management tools and access to small business loans via Alipay’s online bank MYbank.
The company said it is aiming to provide small business loan services to 30 million SMBs and self-employed professionals over the next three years, reports noted. Alipay is also looking to collaborate with 100 entrepreneurs, with its parent company Ant Financial offering tailored business management and development programs for chosen professionals.
Alipay revealed last month that it now has more than 700 million annual active users of its mobile payments solution, a 200 million user increase from the year prior. While Alipay already works with small businesses by offering Ant Financial services that allow businesses to accept payments, the latest offerings suggest that Alipay is enhancing its presence in small businesses’ back offices in the form of financial and operational management tools. Ant Financial also already supports small business mobile loan application for companies that use Alipay’s QR code solution to accept customer payments.
In its announcement, Alipay said more than 3 million of its QR code merchants have applied for a loan using Ant Financial’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered mobile application offering, in the year ending October 2018. The tool uses AI to analyze businesses’ outstanding invoices so as to determine borrowing needs, as well as blockchain to authenticate the invoices and secure loan application data.
Earlier this month, Alipay said hackers had managed to steal money from some of its user accounts via stolen Apple ID credentials. While the company said the issue has been resolved, reports did not indicate how much was stolen.