Digital Banking

JD.com, Central Group Team Up For FinServ App

JD.com, Central Group Team Up For FinServ App

JD.com and the biggest retailer in Thailand, Central Group, have launched a financial services app called Dolfin to help connect with local banks and increase the companies’ online presence, according to a report by Reuters.

The app has e-wallet capabilities, digital lending services and wealth and insurance management.

The two companies’ joint venture, called JD Central Fintech, has an ancillary eCommerce product that competes with platforms like Sea Group’s Shopee in Thailand and Alibaba’s Lazada.

“We aim to have 400,000 users by the end of the year and 1.5 million next year,” said Chief Executive Rungruang Sukkirdkijpiboon.

Some banks involved in the endeavor include Siam Commercial Bank Pcl, Kasikornbank Pcl and Bangkok Bank Pcl. Another institution, Bank of Ayudhya, will join the app soon.

Sukkirdkijpiboon said the app aims to customize insurance and mutual fund products for specific customers. The app will be able to handle credit card payments as well as the government e-payment system, PromptPay.

Other Thai companies have also been introducing eCommerce partnerships. The biggest lender in the country, Siam Commercial Bank, is teaming with Sea Thailand to grow online lending and payments.

There are plans to expand the app and release a merchant version for Central’s mall residents and other small businesses next year. The merchant data collected by the app could also potentially be used for bank loans.

Central Group is owned by the Chirativat family. There are plans to go public by the end of the year, with the IPO expected to be valued between $1 billion and $2 billion.

JD.com also recently teamed up with Google to launch a store on Google Express. The launch is the latest dual move for the two companies, which have been in collaboration for some time. (In June of last year, Google announced it was going to invest $550 million in JD.com in exchange for a 1 percent stake in the company.) The Google Express store, called Joybuy, currently offers everything from shoes to electronics to hair extensions. A majority of the products are under $100 and come from brands with less exposure.

“What we can share at this stage is that we are conducting test operations during this early phase,” a JD.com spokeswoman said.

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