October 15, 2018
International Financial Corporation (“IFC”), a member of the World Bank Group, and Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”), the world’s leading tech company and the operator of Alipay, jointly announced the 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion programme at the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.
The initiative will include a comprehensive programme that embraces interactivity and the exchange of ideas to provide training to 10,000 tech experts in emerging markets from both public and private sectors over the next 10 years.
Alibaba Group founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma said that the programme aims to build an interactive and open platform to increase support for tech leaders and skilled individuals who are working to alleviate poverty and make basic financial services more broadly accessible in Indonesia, which will be the first stop of the programme within emerging markets.
“I believe that investing in people is investing for the future. Cultivating talent is one of the most significant things the Alibaba ecosystem can do. My hope is that emerging markets will benefit from the individuals that are nurtured under this new 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion programme and be able to embrace a brighter future through the digital economy,” said Ma, who is an adviser to the Indonesian government steering committee for e-commerce.
The 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion programme will seek support from local public and private sector partners in emerging markets. A series of Techfin workshops will be held across China and various countries. The workshops will aim to inspire tech leaders and local talent to become “drivers for change” in the digital era, promoting technology inclusion and global sustainability.
“Technology offers the largest dividend of the digital era bringing unprecedented opportunities for financial inclusion,” said Eric Jing, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ant Financial. “Individuals with talent in technology are the drivers for change who can inspire innovation that will lead to a better collective future. Now is the time for Alipay to share its knowledge and experience in digital financial services to broaden the tech communities and ecosystem within emerging markets.”
IFC and Ant Financial have partnered on initiatives to extend micro-credits to small- and women-owned businesses in China and over the past year have driven collaboration on inclusive digital finance, green digital finance and business-environment enhancement. In 2016, Ant Financial signed onto the World Bank Group Universal Financial Access 2020 goal and committed to increasing access to financial services for 100 million underserved individuals.
Philippe Le Houérou, IFC CEO, said, “Digital finance is transforming the financial landscape, creating new markets, empowering consumers and putting banking in the hands of unreached millions worldwide for the first time. The joint programme will further deepen knowledge and create new opportunities for digital financial services to expand financial access and improve lives.”
About Ant Financial
Ant Financial Services Group is dedicated to using technology to bring the world equal opportunities. Our technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, security, Internet of Things and computing, empower us and our ecosystem partners to serve the unbanked and underbanked, bringing more secure, transparent, cost-effective and inclusive financial services to individuals and SMEs worldwide. Ant Financial has formed international partnerships with global strategic partners to serve local users in those markets, and we serve Chinese travelers overseas by connecting Alipay with online and offline merchants in popular destinations. By the end of March 2018, together with its local partners, Ant Financial served 870 million users worldwide. Brands under Ant Financial Services Group include Alipay, Ant Fortune, Zhima Credit, MYbank and Ant Financial Cloud.
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently works with over 200 domestic financial institution partners. Over the years, Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers over 40 countries and regions across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 29 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.