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Chinese firms lead e-payment drive in region

  • Author:Nancy
  • Source:https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/
  • Release on:2019-09-19
Chinese firms lead e-payment drive in region

Tech giants like JD, Alibaba help build cashless society in Southeast Asia

Chinese financial technology companies are beefing up their presence in the digital payment sector of Southeast Asia to help build a cashless society, fueled by the rapidly growing demand for e-payment from people in the region.

Central JD Fintech Holding, a joint venture owned by Chinese fintech company JD Digits and Central Group, Thailand's largest retailer, rolled out a financial services app to promote e-wallet services in Thailand.

  The e-wallet app Dolfin can support eKYC or electronic Know Your Customer technology for verifying user identities during the registration process. It features money transfers, payments and other digital wallet functions, JD Digits said in a statement.

  Online credit, digital wealth management, online insurance, digital marketing and other functions will be offered through the app. Nearly 3,000 offline retail outlets, including department stores, supermarkets, and the Family Mart convenience stores owned by the Central Group, will start to support Dolfin payment.

  Dolfin also supports JD Central, a Thai online retail platform jointly created by JD and Central Group. The app provides artificial intelligence and big data analytics precision marketing services to merchants so they can understand consumer behavior and preferences, helping reduce management costs and improve operational efficiency.

  Global consulting firm Ernst and Young said Thailand has the market and potential to become a fintech hub in Southeast Asia due to its large unbanked population which has high rates of mobile usage, internet penetration, and strong macroeconomic growth.

  JD Digits has accelerated its global expansion by going into overseas markets such as Thailand and Indonesia. It first entered the Thai market in 2017 in cooperation with Central Group to start a joint venture serving Thailand's fintech market.

  Other Chinese fintech companies have jumped onto the mobile payments bandwagon to tap the Southeast Asia market. Ant Financial Services Group, the company behind the popular payment app Alipay, acquired Singaporean payment service helloPay Group. It also invested in Ascend Money in Thailand and digital financial company Mynt in the Philippines.

  Tencent's WeChat Pay, another popular payments app, launched its e-wallet in Malaysia. It also offers e-payment services for Thai sellers.

" The demand for fintech services and technologies is very high in Southeast Asian countries. The number of Chinese tourists visiting these countries is also increasing and this has given a boost to the development of digital payments," said Wang Pengbo, an analyst at Beijing-based consultancy Analysys.

  He added compared with Europe and the United States, financial infrastructure is relatively inadequate in Southeast Asia, providing promising opportunities for Chinese companies.

  He noted China has now become a leading exporter of mobile payment technologies.

" China's mobile payment is leading the world in both market size and user numbers and Chinese mobile payment companies have stepped up efforts to expand their presence in overseas markets,"Wang said.