Mobile Payments Leader Ant Financial Sends Eric Jing to the UN

December 5, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Ant Financial has been one of the leaders in the mobile payments space for some time now, especially in China. This is thanks primarily to Ant Financial’s operation of the Alipay mobile payments system, which is the current front-runner in the Chinese mobile payments market. Thus, it shouldn’t pose much of a shock, if any at all, that Ant Financial’s Eric Jing was tapped to join the United Nations’ Task Force  on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ant Financial tipped us off about the move recently, which will see Jing adding perspective on how digital finance—particularly the kind of large-scale digital finance that Ant Financial deals in and SDGs would require—can be part of the overall strategic picture. Jing will be joined by a slate of other figures in the economics front, including bank and investment fund CEOs, technology entrepreneurs, and central bank governors, among others.

The SDG is part of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ “Strategy for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, released back in September. The report in question focuses on the need for business and financial sector operations to make changes in order to focus more on sustainability, particularly on “providing equitable access to finance.”

Jing noted “….Alipay, with support from the United Nations, has long advocated for the launch of an innovation task force for digital financing. In and beyond China, our cutting-edge digital technologies serve millions of small and micro businesses and improve the lives of hundreds of millions of ordinary people. We are committed to bringing equal opportunities to the world and I believe this resonates with the UN’s SDGs.”

Good news for Jing, I suppose, who may well be able to parlay this new position into advances for Alipay, and by extension Ant Financial. Since Alipay is an increasingly global operation, having contacts at the global level likely couldn’t hurt, especially given the increasing amount of regulation that the Chinese government is piling on Alipay’s operations.

With access to money becoming an increasingly digital prospect worldwide, meanwhile, Alipay’s suggestions and insight here could prove valuable as well. It looks like a potential win-win for the UN and for Ant Financial as a whole.