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Ant Financial CEO shares digital technology at ASEAN Finance

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CHIANG RAI, Thailand, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Alipay is committed to working with ASEAN countries to leverage technology and innovation to boost economic growth and improve lives of more people, Ant Financial's CEO said here on Thursday while invited to share the company expertise with ASEAN finance ministers.

Speaking as the only corporate representative at the ASEAN Finance Ministers' Retreat, Eric Jing, Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial that runs Alipay, said Alipay is joining hands with e-wallets of ASEAN countries to help accelerate the digitalization of the region.

"The fintech revolution is just at the edge of the starting line, and it presents a tremendous opportunity for developing countries to further enhance the integration of digital technologies across financial services," said Jing.

He said the partnership of local vendors in ASEAN countries and Alipay helps them learn how to develop mobile payment and how digital technologies can drive a country's economic growth.

2019 marked the first time in history that finance and economic ministers from ASEAN member states invited a leader from the fintech industry to participate in an exclusive knowledge sharing session, highlighting the rapid development of transfer and payment technologies in the region as well as the implications for ASEAN's financial landscape.

Southeast Asia represents a market with significant potential for financial inclusion as the region still has a hefty unbanked population.

According to the World Bank's latest Global Financial Inclusion Index, digital technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in the payments industry. Globally, 52 percent of adults have sent or received digital payments in the past year, up from 42 percent in 2014. Among ASEAN countries, the adoption of digital payment is also catching on.

Since 2015, Alipay has successfully established nine strategic partnerships with local partners outside the Chinese mainland, and four of these partnerships are in ASEAN member countries.

Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said Thailand hopes to learn from Alipay to use technology to serve the unbanked and underbanked, bringing more secure, transparent, cost-effective and inclusive financial services to individuals and SMEs nationwide.

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