Chinese billionaire Jack Ma is the founder of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba and financial giant Ant Financial. Ant Financial was launched in 2014 to facilitate Alipay – a ubiquitous mobile payment service in China.
If you’ve been to China in recent years, you’ve probably seen people making payments to cab drivers, restaurants and even boutiques simply by scanning a QR Code. This is the Alipay app which is far more popular than wireless payment systems offered by Apple or Google. Alipay boasts 450 million active users while for Apple Pay, the user base is around 12 million.
However, it has recently come to light that Ant Financial is not just a platform for financial services – it is also an AI powered mechanism that could possibly take over many time consuming operations with further development.
For example, in China, if a person’s shop or warehouse catches fire, the owner can simply take a picture of the burnt space and upload it on the app. The app uses complex algorithms in order to gauge the extent of damage as well as causes and authenticity of the incident. Subsequently, the victim can claim an amount of insurance as determined by the app.
Aside from that, Ant Financial also allows third party institutions to set up accounts and negotiate deals through the app, making it more convenient for users and companies. Ant Financial is no longer just a financial service provider. It has become a financial hub, looking to change the way financial transactions take place.
Ant Financial is set to strike a $1.2 billion deal with MoneyGram in order to enter the U.S. market. This could possibly mean the company is eyeing a change to the way the world make transactions on a more global scale. While there has been opposition to the deal, it looks like the company could get regulatory approval soon.
Megha Shah for TechFunnel.com