Alipay, the Chinese mobile payment giant owned by Alibaba Group, will purchase 20% of the shares of the mobile financial services provider company bKash Limited.
Brac Bank, parent of bKash, has approved a proposal to the effect.
In addition to this, bKash has signed a strategic partnership with Alipay operator Ant Financial Services Group for enhancing its technological capabilities.
bKash announced the decisions in separate releases on Thursday.
In a PSI released on Thursday afternoon, Brac Bank said as per the board's decision, Alipay Singapore E-commerce Private Limited would be entitled to purchase 10% shares from bKash stakeholders Money in Motion LLC, International Finance Corporation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Alipay shall also be entitled to subscribe for a further 10% shares in the company over a period of time,” it said.
Meanwhile, a press release from bKash said it has formed a strategic partnership Ant Financial Services Group.
The partnership involves Ant Financial investing into bKash and increasing its technological capabilities, allowing it to provide greater convenience and security in mobile financial services throughout Bangladesh, the release said.
Ant is the world's most valuable fintech company.
“Along with its investment, Alipay brings the best payment technologies built by thousands of engineers and the knowledge of applying those technologies to economies like China which went through a massive transformation in recent years. Such track record makes Ant Financial a fitting partner for bKash since Bangladesh too has a large population of 160 million and an economy that is advancing rapidly,” said Kamal Quadir, CEO of bKash.
“This demonstrates the confidence a world-class player is placing in Bangladesh,” he said.
Established in 2010, bKash now has a network of more than 180,000 agents throughout urban and rural areas of Bangladesh with over 30 million registered accounts.
“Ant Financial and bKash share similar goals, in that we want to bring equal opportunities to everyone here in Bangladesh. bKash can tap on the experience Alipay has built over the last decade serving 800 million users together with our strategic partners worldwide,” said Eric Jing, executive chairman and CEO of Ant Financial.
“As part of Ant Financial’s global strategy, we are keen to share our technology know-how with partners like bKash, who has successfully brought financial services to the largely unbanked population in Bangladesh. bKash is managed by a strong team with deep local knowledge and execution capabilities. We are confident, together with bKash, we can bring highly secure and inclusive financial services to address the needs of local people and small businesses here,” he added.
“bKash will benefit immensely from this landmark partnership with Ant Financial. It will help bKash significantly step up its activities in changing and positively impacting on the lives of millions,” said Selim RF Hussain, managing director and CEO of BRAC Bank.
bKash and Ant Financial were both named in the Fortune Change The World 2017 list, a recognition given to companies that have had a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy.
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s leading third-party payment platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay and its strategic partners in overseas markets currently have over 800 million users. Within the Alipay App, users can obtain information on various business establishments, complete online and offline shopping payments and also choose from a wide range of wealth management and other services aimed at providing a more convenient way of life. In China, over 40 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay. Overseas, Alipay now covers 40 countries and regions to provide more diversified services for Chinese travelling overseas.