Jack Ma co-founded Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) fintech affiliate Ant Group has found a way to scale up its QR code-enabled payments solution overseas.
Ant has been quietly forming partnerships with local payment providers in Asia.
Ant dubs the payments processing network Alipay+ to distinguish it from Alipay, its consumer-facing wallet that has become ubiquitous in China.
Alipay+ has integrated with 15 payment methods, allowing its partnered merchants to reach more than one billion consumers, Angel Zhao, president of international business at Ant Group, said during the Singapore Fintech Festival.
To create a network effect, Alipay+ has been busy onboarding merchants. It supports over 2.5 million businesses around the world.
Filipino tourist visiting Japan, for instance, can pull up their GCash wallet and pay at a store that supports Alipay+ by scanning a QR code; they can also display their wallet's QR code for the cashier to scan.
Similarly, a traveler from South Korea can pay at the store with Kakao Pay, and so can a Malaysian tourist with Touch' n Go.
All the while, Alipay+ has automatically calculated and done the currency conversion part.
Alipay+ charges enterprise software fees as a cross-border payment and merchant marketing solution provider.
On the landing page of GCash, users can find an entry to a list of merchant deals provided that they pay with Alipay+.
The appeal of Alipay+ for merchants, on the other hand, is that one billion consumers can conveniently pay at their stores.
Interestingly, Zhao stressed at the event that Alipay+ served as an infrastructure layer for other consumer-oriented wallets.
Although Ant has been exploring overseas growth for years, the task gained renewed urgency as Beijing told it to overhaul all facets of its business in China.
Price Action: BABA shares are down by 1.06% at $69.08 on the last check Monday.
See more from Benzinga
Don't miss real-time alerts on your stocks - join Benzinga Pro for free! Try the tool that will help you invest smarter, faster, and better.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.