Alipay finds a partner in Bangladesh

Alipay is partnering with a financial services firm called bKash as it continues its overseas push.

Ant Financial Services Group, operator of Alipay, said on Thursday it has invested in a financial services provider in Bangladesh called bKash and will partner with it to promote financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked communities in Bangladesh.

The partnership involves Ant Financial increasing bKash's technological capabilities, allowing it to provide greater convenience and security in mobile financial services throughout Bangladesh. 

Established in 2010 by founding shareholders, BRAC Bank and Money in Motion, bKash is running a network of more than 180,000 agents throughout urban and rural areas of Bangladesh with over 30 million registered accounts.

“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," said Kamal Quadir, Chief Executive Officer of bKash in a statement.

Bangladesh has a large population of 160 million and an economy that is advancing rapidly. 

International Finance Corporation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have been shareholders in bKash, since 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Simpson Thacher represented Ant Financial in connection with its strategic partnership with bKash. 


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