Ant Financial extends mobile payment services to Indonesia

The joint venture with Emtek will provide mobile payments technology to ecommerce platforms in Indonesia.

Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial has extended its mobile payment services to Indonesia in partnership with the local media conglomerate Elang Mahkota Teknologi (Emtek).

The two companies will establish a joint venture firm in Indonesia to develop a mobile payments service for BlackBerry's BBM chat app at first, according to an announcement released on Wednesday.

BBM, operated by a subsidiary of Emtek, is a commonly seen messaging app with monthly active users exceeding 63 million in Indonesia.

The joint venture will leverage Ant Financial's experience in mobile payments, digital financial innovations, risk control, and cloud computing. It will also offer mobile payments technology to ecommerce, over-the-top (OTT) and online-to-offline (O2O) services, merchants, and platforms in Indonesia.

"Ant Financial has proven know-how in delivering payment and other financial solutions to a large and growing mobile audience in China and enabling its partners globally, and we are looking forward to replicating and creating this success in Indonesia," Alvin Sariaatmadja, CEO of Emtek, said in the press release.

Ant Financial's mobile payment application Alipay, which counts 450 million active users in China, is also expected to benefit from the partnership with Emtek as it gives the Chinese company access to the heavily regulated but largely populated market.

Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world, with a population of around 260 million.

Ant Financial has been actively looking for business opportunities outside China, as mobile payment competition with WeChat in China has been stiff over the years.

In February, Ant Financial announced an investment of $200 million in the mobile payments solution Kakao Pay, owned by the South Korean messenger maker Kakao.

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