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Ant Financial brings mobile payments to Indonesia

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In its latest foray outside of China, Ant Financial has teamed up with Indonesia’s Emtek Group on a mobile payments and financial services joint venture.

Alibaba’s Ant has been making a rash of deals over recent months, spending some of the $4.5 billion it raised in a funding round a year ago in an effort to become a globe-straddling payments behemoth.

The latest deal will see it bring its payments expertise to a platform offered on BBM, which is operated by an Emtek subsidiary in Indonesia and is the country’s most-installed and most commonly used messenger app, with 63 million monthly active users.

Beyond serving BBM users, the JV will also offer its mobile payments technology to e-commerce, over-the-top and online-to-offline services, merchants and platforms in Indonesia, taking advantage of Emtek’s position as the country’s top media conglomerate.

Douglas Feagin, president, Ant Financial International, says: “This strategic partnership underlines our commitment to serve the unbanked and underbanked around the world and to improve their lives by bringing them inclusive financial services. We are achieving this by working with partners who share our vision.”

Ant has set itself the goal of serving two billion customers within the next ten years. With an IPO in the offing, the company has made substantial investments in India’s Paytm, South Korea’s Kakao Pay, Thai financial technology firm Ascend Money and Globe Telecom Inc’s fintech firm Mynt.

It has also made an $880 million move for Moneygram, although that deal is under threat thanks to a rival bid from Euronet.