This month Chinese payments giant Ant Group announced the acquisition of Singapore-based payments platform 2C2P, one in a long line of investments that have seen the company grow its cross-border payments network across Asia.
The deal sees Ant Group become the majority shareholder of 2C2P and enter into a strategic partnership designed to extend the reach of Alipay+, its cross-border mobile payments platform for SMEs. This will see 2C2P’s merchants, which are primarily based in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, connected to Alipay+, extending the platform’s reach globally. It will also add 2C2P’s services, which include payment acceptance, issuing, pay-out and remittances, to the platform.
It is another example of investments by Ant Group in international payments companies, which typically are accompanied by similar partnerships. Together, these have slowly grown the network of Alipay+, strengthening the company’s standalone cross-border payments capabilities. Other key examples include its 2017 investment in South Korea’s Kakao Pay, which allowed Ant to begin offering its services in the country, and its joint venture with CIMB in Malaysia to develop the Touch ’n Go e-wallet in the country.
Ant has also replicated the approach further afield, most notably with its 2019 acquisition of UK cross-border payments company WorldFirst, and its 2020 investment in Swedish buy now, pay later giant Klarna, which was accompanied by a strategic partnership with AliExpress.