B2B Payments

Ant Expands FI Tech Services Platform In China

Ant Financial, the financial services unit of Alibaba, is rolling out a new brand to provide financial institutions (FIs) with support for digital transformation.

In a press release issued Thursday (Sept. 20), Ant Financial announced the launch of Ant Financial Technology, a unit designed “to support the growth of financial institutions by improving user experience and lowering cost.” The unit will launch with five key technologies for FI customers, including transaction, security, financial intelligence, next-generation interaction and blockchain tools.

The unit has already tested these product portfolios, highlighting the trial of its large-scale financial transaction suite of solutions that was able to process 256,000 transactions per second during last year’s Singles’ Day shopping festival in China.

“Since our establishment in 2014, Ant Financial has focused on developing cutting-edge technologies to enable inclusive finance,” said Ant Financial Deputy CTO Xi HU in a statement. “We are pleased that our technology products and services have already been used to improve efficiency and lower costs at approximately 200 financial institutions, including more than 100 banks, over 60 insurance companies and more than 40 asset management firms and security brokers.”

“Going forward, we will offer a full suite of technology products and services to power the growth of our financial institution partners and help them extend their services to more individuals.”

In another statement, Bank of Nanjing Vice President Wenkai Zhou said the FI has partnered with Ant Financial “to build a distributed digital finance platform” that will enhance the bank’s “ability to underwrite loans.”

The brand was announced at the 2018 Ant Technology Exploration Conference.

The rollout of the new unit follows June’s announcement from Ant Financial that it would roll out artificial intelligence solutions for asset management firms in a similar move to boost efficiencies and fuel growth. Ant Financial secured strategic cooperation agreements earlier this year with a range of banks in China, including China Everbright Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Huaxia Bank and others.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.