Tuesday, July 16, 2024

HappeningPH Fintech Feature! Ant International and Partners Support Almost 100 Million MSMEs, Launches Global “Embrace the Power of Small” Campaign

HappeningPH Fintech Feature! Ant International and Partners Support Almost 100 Million MSMEs, Launches Global “Embrace the Power of Small” Campaign

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  • Ant International announces momentum in serving global MSMEs across its businesses – Alipay+, Antom, WorldFirst, ANEXT Bank and newly-introduced bettr
  • Ant International launches the second edition of SisBerdaya in Indonesia with DANA, and shares milestones in its 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion program
  • In celebration of International MSME Day, Ant International launches global “Embrace the Power of Small” campaign featuring the stories of three entrepreneurs, across out-of-home billboards, TV and social media

[PHILIPPINES], 27 June 2024 – On 2024 International MSME Day, Ant International, a digital payment and financial services leader, shares that it supports almost 100 million Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) worldwide across its businesses and partner programs; and reinforces its commitments towards MSME digitalization and inclusion through the expansion of its services, new programs for skills development with industry partners, and a new global campaign.

“MSMEs are the lifeblood of our economies, driving innovation, employment, and inclusive development,” said Douglas Feagin, President of Ant International. “Their resilience and entrepreneurial spirit deserve to be celebrated and nurtured. At Ant International, we firmly believe in the power of small and that small businesses can make a big impact. Fintech innovations today unlock new possibilities for small businesses to dream boldly and compete globally. Together with our partners, we want to ensure that every business and every person will have access to the knowledge, network, and digital tools to help them achieve their goals.”

Empowering growth for MSMEs through digitalization

Across its businesses, Ant International offers solutions that enable MSMEs to digitalize, opening new growth opportunities.

Alipay+, the cross-border mobile payments and marketing solutions operated by Ant International, announced an expansion of its global acceptance. As of June 2024, Alipay+ is accepted by over 90 million merchants in over 66 markets, connecting businesses to users of 30 international payment partners. With travel picking up and tourism a key driver of many local economies, this enables many small businesses to connect with global mobile-first consumers in a simple, cost-efficient manner.

A key development in driving digitalization at scale is through Alipay+’s integration with national QRs. Alipay+ is currently integrated with the national QRs of Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea, which counts MSMEs as majority of its merchants. In Singapore, Alipay+ transactions at hawker stalls have increased 52% in H1 2024, compared to H2 2023. In Malaysia and South Korea, Alipay+ transactions increased 44% and 54% respectively via PayNet and ZeroPay, in Q2 vs Q1 2024. Alipay+ also has partnerships with national QRs in Cambodia, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

As a leading provider of digital payment solutions, Antom supports merchants of all sizes, including MSMEs, across over 40 countries and regions. Through a single integration, Antom connects them to more than 250 payment methods in over 150 markets. Its D-store solution enables MSME merchants to digitalize their operations and set up an online store in just 10 minutes with zero upfront cost. Over 5000 outlets have already onboarded this solution, with average monthly transactions growing by 27% in Q2 vs Q1 2024.

In supporting MSMEs to do business globally, WorldFirst empowers more than 1 million SMEs with international payments to 200+ markets in over 100 currencies. To enable more SMEs to do cross-border trade, WorldFirst will expand to more markets in Southeast Asia and Europe this year. ANEXT Bank, a digital wholesale bank incorporated in Singapore, recently celebrated its second anniversary, with two times year-on-year increase in its customer base, of which 69% are micro businesses. To further support regional MSMEs, ANEXT Bank has introduced its second batch of SME Friends of ANEXT with forward-thinking small and growing businesses to co-create the “digital bank of tomorrow”.

Ant International has also recently unveiled bettr, a new global digital lending service to provide micro lending to MSMEs through embedded finance partnerships, further accelerating financial inclusion.

Harnessing industry partnerships to drive MSME development

Ant International believes in open industry collaboration to jointly support knowledge and skills development for MSMEs.

In Indonesia, Ant International and DANA will launch the second edition of SisBerdaya, an initiative that provides female micro entrepreneurs training, mentoring, and educational programs in business management and digital skills. Started in 2023, the first edition drew more than 2700 applicants, with 180 participants undergoing a one-month training, and grants awarded to 30 entrepreneurs.

In collaboration with the International Finance Corporation, 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion is an open learning platform to help future digital leaders develop more skills to drive greater impact within their communities. As of 2023, with the support of 40+ global strategic partners, more than 6,000 individual talents from 100+ countries and regions completed the 10×1000 learning programs, of which 90% are from developing markets and 60% work in MSMEs.

Earlier this year, Ant International launched Programme Sirius, with the support of 13 Asia Pacific fintech leaders to empower MSMEs in their transition towards sustainability, in line with the United Nationals Sustainable Development Goals.

Global campaign to ‘Embrace the power of small’

In celebration of International MSME Day, Ant International launches its ‘Embrace the power of small” campaign featuring three business owners and their journeys of digitalization. The business owners are:

Cholthicha Joyyangsuk (Numwan), Thailand – a micro entrepreneur in Bangkok selling Thai desserts on her tuktuk. With Alipay+, she can now easily accept mobile payments from tourists, sharing a slice of culture, while giving her access to a wider pool of customers.
 

 

Lem Cheong, The Hainan Story, Singapore – inspired by his grandma’s rich heritage and flavourful recipes, Mr Cheong aims to evolves traditional dishes, just as he evolves his business with digital tools like Antom’s D-store solution to simplify his store operations.
 

Lewis Ames, Wrimes Cosmetics, UK – starting with neon face paint and pivoting to pet care during the pandemic, Mr Ames uses WorldFirst to pay his suppliers and collect payments from marketplaces easily, so he can grow his business from Stevenage to the world.

 

These stories will be featured on out-of-home billboards, starting in Europe, in time for the UEFA EURO 2024, of which Ant International is the Official Payment Partner, and rolled out to other global markets, and also on TV and social media.