Telenor Group announced on Tuesday it has reached a strategic partnership agreement with Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Financial) in Pakistan, where Ant Financial will invest $184.5 million for a 45% stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB), a subsidiary of Telenor Group, to further develop TMB’s mobile payment and digital financial services.
According to the duo, the strategic partnership combines TMB’s knowledge and local market presence with more than 20 million customers, and Ant Financial’s technology in digital payment platform Alipay and other financial services, to bring mobile payment and inclusive financial services to individuals as well as small and micro businesses in Pakistan.
TMB now offers Easypaisa, which is a mobile financial services platform. TMB also notably provides micro-finance and related financial services o the less privileged and unbanked segment of the Pakistani society. While sharing more details about the partnership, Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor Group, stated:
“Partnering with a world leading payment provider like Ant Financial will strengthen Telenor Microfinance Bank’s future payment platform and set new standards in the digital banking business in Pakistan. The establishment of this partnership is well in-line with the expressed Telenor strategy of focusing our financial services efforts in emerging markets, making sure that we’re able to build and modernize the businesses in line with customer needs. I’m truly excited about the opportunities this partnership brings for Telenor Microfinance Bank going forward.”
Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Financial, added:
“Ant Financial is pleased to be in this strategic partnership with Telenor Group. Alipay’s technologies make us uniquely placed to achieve our mission of bringing the world equal opportunities. Today, we are very happy to share our technology know-how with Telenor Microfinance Bank to bring improved user experience on the Easypaisa mobile payment platform, as well as provide inclusive financial services in a transparent, safe, low cost and efficient way to the unbanked and underbanked population in Pakistan.”