Yeah, we wrote the headline and we agree. You have got to be kidding, right? Nope, we’re not. China’s ginormous AliPay, the world’s largest online and payments platform, which is a subsidiary of Alibaba Holding (via Ant Financial), has targeted Pakistan for its latest push in expanding its worldwide mobile payments domination. There’s big opportunity in small(ish) markets. We’re waiting to see a big push toward scooping up the still relatively underserved Latin- and South-American markets next. In the meantime, with AliPay’s move into Pakistan, expect to see more expansion in the near future in other Middle Eastern markets by this market dominator.
“It would be easy to think that Pakistan isn’t much of a market for mobile payment services, but Ant Financial of Alipay fame doesn’t share that pessimistic assessment. It recently sent us new reports saying that it’s shelling out big money for a shot at the Pakistani market, with a likely expectation of big returns in the process.
The agreement between Ant Financial and Telenor Group calls for Ant to put up $184.5 million in exchange for a 45 percent stake in Telenor subsidiary the Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB). With that stake comes the ability to develop the mobile payment and digital financial services that the bank offers.
Since TMB counts better than 20 million local customers to its credit, at last report, that’s going to give Ant Financial a nice platform to work from. Perhaps not as large as it’s used to working with, but still substantial nonetheless. Included in the plan is not only mobile payments for individual users, but also a slate of small business solutions, even microbusiness solutions…”