Ant Financial Connects With Standard Chartered Bank

December 20, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Developing financial technology (fintech) applications is likely about as difficult as developing any other app, and potentially more so. It’s all about knowing what the market needs, and then filling that need. That’s where a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) comes into play between Ant Financial of Alipay fame and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), word of which was recently sent our way.

The MOU in question gives Ant Financial access to SCB’s array of insights in emerging markets, as well as access to its expertise in general, to bolster Ant Financial’s development of financial services geared toward those emerging markets. More specifically, it targets the emerging markets situated on the “Belt & Road Initiative” route, which has also been described as the Silk Road for the 21st century.

SCB makes a particularly good partner in this initiative, as around 69 percent of SCB’s global footprint is actually comprised of countries along the Belt & Road Initiative’s route. It’s got over 1,000 branches to its name in 65 different countries, and therefore has an excellent understanding of the market overall. Given its operations in small and medium-sized business (SMB) work and its retail operations, SCB should prove an excellent source of raw data.

Ant Financial Services Group CEO Eric Jing noted “With the mission to ‘bring the world equal opportunities’, Ant Financial is dedicated to using technology to make financial services more inclusive on a global scale. This MOU with SCB is an important milestone in our efforts to enable our partners to better service their clients around the world. ”

It’s tough to develop products in a vacuum. Bringing out new offerings based on what you think someone might like is a bad move—it’s a safe bet your own predictions are wrong unless they’re based on some kind of evidence—and likely to waste a lot of time and resources. By consulting with a bank that has boots on the ground in a large swath of where you intend to operate, however, you give yourself necessary insight and perspective on how to make your development worthwhile.

Ant Financial’s new MOU should mean some valuable new releases coming soon, and watching what they bring out into a region starved for new technology should be noteworthy in and of itself.