CIMB Group Holdings announced that its subsidiary Touch ‘n Go Sdn Bhd (TNG) will enter into an equity Joint Venture (JV) with Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Financial), parent company of Alipay and the world’s leading digital financial services provider.
The JV will leverage the respective partners’ local market insights, technology capabilities, market experience, and brands to introduce a world-class mobile platform for payments and other financial services, directly supplementing Malaysia’s efforts in accelerating the creation of a robust and secure digital payment infrastructure.
TNG and Ant Financial signed definitive agreements towards the formation of a JV, in which TNG will be the majority shareholder and Ant Financial a minority shareholder. The capital injected by both parties will go towards the creation of a world-class online and offline payments provider, delivering superior mobile wallet solutions and other related financial services.
This is Ant Financial’s first investment in Malaysia. The JV transaction is subject to closing conditions and the required regulatory approvals.
Currently, millions of users across Malaysia use Touch ‘n Go cards daily for electronic payment purposes at toll roads, public transportation systems, parking and retail outlets. The new e-wallet will give current and new TNG users access to more services conveniently, on their mobile phones, including for e- commerce.
Ant Financial provides a wide range of digital financial services to over 520 million users in China and beyond. Through its flagship lifestyle super-app Alipay, users can enjoy a cashless daily life in and outside China.
Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make doctors’ appointment, purchase wealth management products and manage their finances. Over 10 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China. Ant Financial is enabling local partners in India, South Korea and Southeast Asia to provide digital payment and innovative financial services to local users.
Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz, Group CEO, CIMB Group said, “This is a landmark deal, premised on a clearly synergistic partnership. TNG’s leading position combined with Ant Financial’s Alipay capabilities will allow all Malaysians to participate and access secure payments and digital financial services for the long term.” Tengku Zafrul also added, “This fits nicely with CIMB’s digital aspirations and our FinTech agenda, as we move towards a more inclusive and digitized Malaysia.”
Malaysia is the first country to join the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), a program initiated by Alibaba Group Executive Chairman and Founder Jack Ma to help Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) expand their trading capabilities worldwide more easily, directly demonstrating the nation’s enthusiasm in embracing technological innovation.
“Along with the launch of the JV, individuals as well as SMEs will be able to benefit from the development of technology. They will be able to purchase or do business in a more convenient and efficient way in both domestic and international markets, enjoying a broader range of services,” said Eric Jing, Chief Executive Officer, Ant Financial.
He continued, "To bring digital financial inclusion to more people across the world, Ant Financial takes an approach of collaborating with strategic partners overseas and enabling them with its innovative solutions. Given TNG’s leading position in the market and vast customer base, we believe that we can help it to offer exciting and innovative products to Malaysian consumers. ”
Syahrunizam Samsudin, Chief Executive Officer of TNG, said, “We’re extremely happy to have been able to get this done. The work starts now and I look forward to collaborating closely with Ant Financial and the joint venture as it rolls out a set of leading edge payments services to consumers and businesses across the country.”