Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Group), operator of ALIPAY will invest US$73.5 million in Digital Money Myanmar (Wave Money), a mobile payments joint venture (JV) between Telenor group and the Yoma group, as a strategic partnership to promote financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked communities in Myanmar.
Ant Group will become a substantial minority stakeholder, alongside existing shareholders Yoma Group and Telenor. Ant Group’s stake in Wave Money will come by way of a new share issuance which is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approval.
Ant Group's executive chairman, Eric Jing said, "The partnership will enable Wave Pay to tap the experience of ALIPAY to promote financial inclusion and better serve the unbanked and underbanked individuals and SMEs in Myanmar."
Yoma Strategic's chief executive, Melvyn Pun said "The Covid-19 situation is accelerating the trend towards a cashless society and drives the growth of e-commerce, and we expect this strategic partnership to massively boost Wave Money's capabilities to support these trends."
Wave Money, a leading mobile financial services provider in Myanmar, runs a network of more than 57,000 agents or "Wave Shops" in urban and rural areas across 295 out of 330 townships nationwide, covering approximately 89% of the country.
Ant Group is an innovative technology provider that aims to bring inclusive financial services to the world. It is the operator of Alipay, an online payment service launched in 2004 which has since evolved into a leading digital lifestyle platform connecting merchants and its users. As of 30 June 2019, Alipay, together with its strategic e-wallet partners serves 1.2 billion global users.