The Asian Banker Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Ant International and Capital A form finance and sustainability partnership

5 min read

Ant International and Capital A Berhad, owner of AirAsia, collaborate strategically to integrate local payment methods, provide payment services, enhance digital marketing, drive business growth, and promote inclusivity and sustainability.

The comprehensive partnership covers collaborative initiatives between Ant International's Alipay+ cross-border payment, marketing and digitalisation technology solutions, payment orchestration services, and other business segments, and flagship businesses under Capital A, including AirAsia, the one-stop travel platform AirAsia MOVE, and finance app BigPay.

Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, said: "We're thrilled to embark on this transformative journey with Ant International. Their global recognition as a financial technology powerhouse, coupled with their unparalleled expertise, is poised to propel rapid growth for our fintech venture BigPay and our online travel app (OTA) AirAsia MOVE. Both entities are dedicated to agile expansion, and this partnership promises to accelerate our collective mission of providing seamless financial services and affordable travel experiences to our customers worldwide.

Yang Peng, CEO of Ant International, said: “We are very excited to join hands with Capital A to start a new chapter of cross-industry digitalisation, building on the strong synergy between us. By leveraging Ant International’s innovative digital technology solutions and Capital A’s robust global ecosystem, we can bring more seamless services and diversified growth pathways for consumers and businesses in the region and beyond.”

Both sides agreed that AirAsia MOVE will work with Ant International to integrate Alipay+ e-wallets as payment options within the MOVE’s payment flows, and explore the use of various wallet tech including super app related solutions, as well as developing mini-programme within Alipay+ ecosystem.

In addition, AirAsia MOVE is to work with Ant International and its partners in leveraging its user base to promote AirAsia MOVE’s services, this could involve targeted promotions, exclusive deals for Alipay+ partner wallet users, and cross platform visibility for AirAsia MOVE’s services within the Alipay+ ecosystem. AirAsia MOVE and Ant International will also work on joint marketing opportunities and sponsorship opportunities for events such as UEFA EURO 2024.

The two sides also agreed that BigPay will become the latest Alipay+ partner wallet to allow its 1.5 million users to be able to pay seamlessly when they travel abroad. It will also explore using Alipay+ wallet tech, including fraud prevention and other innovative technologies to develop an even stronger super app.

In the meantime, its airlines entity AirAsia will leverage Ant International’s Airline Controller orchestration solution to drive payment efficiency, work with Ant International to enable acceptance of payment methods for online, offline and in-flight checkout.

Capital A currently offers over 20 different products and services leveraging off each other including the airline group - AirAsia Aviation Group, AirAsia MOVE and BigPay fintech services, serving over 700 million people in the region.

Global tourism sector has shown strong rebound and continued resilience since last year as the latest UNWTO data highlighted that international tourism receipts reached $1.4 trillion in 2023 according to preliminary estimates, about 93% of the $1.5 trillion earned by destinations in 2019.

Total export revenues from tourism, including passenger transport are estimated at $1.6 trillion in 2023, almost 95% of that in 2019, according to UNWTO.

Introduced in 2020, Alipay+ cross-border mobile payment service now connects over 88 million merchants in 57 countries and regions to 1.5 billion consumer accounts on over 25 e-wallets and banking apps, allowing consumers to travel and pay worry-free globally, and merchants to build out cross-border consumer engagement and digital marketing.

The service builds on Alipay+’s extensive regional partnerships, including those with national QR schemes including Singapore’s SGQR, Malaysia’s PayNet, South Korea’s ZeroPay, Sri Lanka's LankaPay and Cambodia’s KHQR.

Ant International and Capital A will also work together to promote sustainability initiatives such as advancing global digital inclusion, cultivating digital talent and promotion of sustainable travel programmes, as the two companies agreed.

Yang said: “Ant International is dedicated to building a vibrant, sustainable future digital economy with our technology and cross-sector expertise. We look forward to expand our partnership with global industry leaders like Capital A, to improve the way people and commerce move around the world, and build closer bonds between communities.”

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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