Chinese FinTech heavyweight Ant Financial claims that the number of its daily active users doubled last year.
The AliBaba payment affiliate reports that over 450 million people make use of its AliPay service for payment transactions, as well as to access other financial services including insurance and wealth management.
Since its launch in 2004 as a payment provider for the AliBaba e-commerce platform, AliPay has ridden on the back of its giant parent company to acquire a 54% share of the total market.
AliBaba’s chief Internet rival Tencent is close on its heels, however, with its WeixinPay vehicle acquiring a 37% market share.
Ant Financial is also currently in the midst of an aggressive overseas growth drive, executing a deal with US processing firm First Data to expand its stateside presence, while also in a hard-scrabble fight for control of MoneyGram International.
The Chinese government is openly encouraging China’s payment sector to expand into overseas markets, with People’s Bank of China vice-governor Fan Yifei calling for Chinese companies to take advantage of the One Belt One Road initiative to establish a presence in participating nations.
AliPay already has a presence in 22 countries and regions, including the EU, the US, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, while WeixinPay has established operations in 12 different countries.