Alibaba’s Alipay, the online and mobile payments system behind Aliexpress and Alibaba platforms, is going to start its operations in Pakistan by the end of this year. This revelation was made by Mr Irfan Wahab Khan, Telenor Pakistan’s CEO.
About 45% of Telenor Microfinance Bank was acquired by Ant Financial, the parent company of AliPay, for $184.5 million during March this year.
Furthermore, Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, also acquired Pakistan’s largest online shopping platform Daraz.pk from Rocket Internet. The move will help it expand its footprint in the country.
Seeing as how Pakistan has 56 million mobile internet users, and that its e-commerce market is worth $1 billion, Alipay’s entry in the country could not come any sooner.
Ant Financial is currently in the process of getting the required approvals from the country’s financial regulators – State Bank of Pakistan and Competition Commision of Pakistan – before starting its operations.
Experts believe that with its recent acquisitions in Pakistan, the financial strength and experience will help AliPay adopt a leadership role in the financial payments industry. It will be competing against the likes of Fonepay, PayPak, Avanza Premier Payment Services and others.
Telenor Pakistan, with its huge network and infrastructure, is looking to mark its territory in the digital payment segment.
“We are putting a site an hour on 4G and will complete 80% of them by the end of this year,” said Khan, who took over as CEO Telenor Pakistan on August 1, 2016.