Ant Financial Foresees Comprehensive Digitisation of Banking, Closer Ties to Established Banks

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The world’s largest fintech company expects banking operations to become fully digitised in future, and has stressed the importance of “comprehensive opening” of its technology.

“The digitisation of banks in the future will be comprehensive, said Ant Financial vice-president Liu Weiguang (刘伟光) at the 2018 Yunqi Conference held in Hangzhou last month.

“The concept and genes of digitisation will penetrate all parts of banking, and even become everyone’s personal tool.”

Liu also stressed Ant Financial’s commitment to open technology, stating that the upgrade of Ant Financial Cloud (蚂蚁金融云) to Ant Financial Financial Technology (蚂蚁金融科技) would achieve “100% comprehensive opening” of the “BASIC” technologies of the blockchain, artificial intelligence, security and risk control, the Internet of Things and computing.

Liu’s remarks come just as China’s tech companies shy away from direct participation in financial operations towards the provision of tech services to established financial institutions.

“The goal of the openness of Ant technology isn’t to sell software – the real goal is to strive to use technology to solve difficulties encountered during the development of operations, to use technology to change the state of operations and create new operating models, and establish even tighter ties and relations with financial institutions.

“The earliest ties between Ant Financial and financial institutions were based on cooperation in payments operations…we now would like to add a new link, which is technology.”

Liu also said fintech would in future involve the integration of multiple technologies.

“Artificial intelligence or blockchain technology alone will be insufficient to support the development of overall financial operations,” said Liu.

“We believe that in addition to encompassing emerging financial technologies such as blockchain and AI, fintech also encompasses technical systems that upgrade and replace IT infrastructure frameworks, including cloud computing and and big data as well as exclusive financial technology.”

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